Consider incorporating these ideas
when planning your new home:
enables easy access for all. Hallways
should be at least 42” wide or wider.
Low-maintenance exteriors of brick,
stucco or composite materials reduce
painting and repair. For landscaping,
try planting low maintenance shrubs
and plants than require the water available through rainfall only (
xeriscaping). Or, you may want to consider
purchasing in a neighborhood that offers maintenance-free landscaping.
Limit the number of steps in
It’s easy to trip and fall with even a
small step into the home. Use gradual
ramps (that don’t look like a ramp) to
get from the driveway or garage into
One-level living makes it easier for
all ages. Climbing stairs for grandchildren can even be problematic. Or, if
you prefer a multi-level home, consider
installing an elevator.
Windows & Doors
Choose wider doors ( 36” minimum
on entry doors) with levered door handles. It’s easier to just push down than
to turn a knob. Consider keyless entry.
Entry doors should contain a sidelight
(providing privacy and safety). Place
doorbells at an accessible height and include a sensor light at the entry. Crank-opened windows are also preferable.
Open Floor Plan
Limit the number of hallways in your
home. An open floor plan with great
room, dining area and open kitchen
create not only a spacious feeling, but
Consider eliminating an island to
provide more room to move around.
Install more floor cabinets and fewer
upper cabinets. Manufacturers also
make easy to use pull down upper cabinets. Use pull-out shelves in the pantry.
Vary counter heights to accommodate standing or sitting. Elevate
dishwashers 8” above the floor to facilitate loading and unloading. Use
wide kitchen chairs with high seats and
strong wooden arms and a kitchen table without corners.
Consider using smaller appliances,
where appropriate, that are lightweight
and easier to grip. Double door refrigerators with easy to grip handles work
A helpful tip for filling a pot with
water—install a water spiggot with a
movable arm at the stove. Think of how
much easier it would be to fill a pot of
water in place. And, make sure the controls are on the front of the stove.
Design your bathroom adjacent to
the bedroom and include seating to
make it easier to dress. Add grab bars
to make baths and showers more accessible and to reduce the likelihood of
Use slip-resistant bathroom surfaces. Install easy-maintenance vanity
counters. Allow for easy access under
Raise the level of toilet seats. As one
ages, it’s more difficult to get up from