March 10, 2022
Building a custom home in Pickerington often means: you’re going to live in that place for years to come! The fancy term for this is “aging in place”, meaning you can comfortably live in your home as long as possible into older age.
But to build a home where you can age in place, you need to incorporate some important elements in your home design. The features of your home should be usable by anyone — no matter what range of abilities they may or may not have — and importantly, the home needs to NOT feel like a long term care facility.
Here at Heitmeyer Building and Design, we are custom home builders in Pickerington Ohio who help folks design their retirement house plans — so they can age in place, gracefully and with style.
Here are 5 things to consider as you’re designing your custom retirement home — so you can keep living in your house as long as possible as you age.
As you age, one of the likelier challenges you face is fatigue or slight pain from having to climb up and down flights of stairs. In some scenarios where you’d need assistance to walk, such as with a walker or wheelchair, climbing stairs could be almost impossible without someone else’s assistance.
The best way to reduce issues like this is to focus on the livability of the first floor of the home.
We’re seeing an increase in homes that have bedrooms and full bathrooms on the first floor instead of the second floor. This is good because it’ll be easier to access major components of the home.
Ensure that entering the home is made simple as well. Most homes have a small set of steps you’d need to climb to enter. Design at least one entry point to be leveled with the floor of the home for a step-free entry. Many homes use the garage entrance for this. You could use the side entrance if you have one.
An open layout with major rooms on the first floor makes it easier for those with issues climbing stairs, and a walker or wheelchair user to utilize these sections of the home.
To avoid struggling to reach, when your custom home is in the final stages, place levers instead of knobs or handles on all of the doors. Light switches should be placed lower than the average home would have them. Electrical outlets should be placed a little higher.
The location of the land is important to building your custom home. You need to have access to crucial utilities like electricity and water, but you’ll also need to make sure the land is easy to walk through.
Bonus points for being close enough to accessible transportation, including walkability. Should you become unable to drive a car, access to this is key so you won’t have to call a loved one or a taxi for a ride somewhere.
Design the floor plan of all rooms and walkways –especially on the first floor– to be open and spacious. Primarily, focus on the kitchen, living room, and the dining/family room.
When it comes to the kitchen specifically, one way to help make it open is to use an island. Kitchen islands often have a space to place a trash can so it’s not in the way on the floor. It may also have a fold-down tray for wheelchair users and young children to use. The cabinets on the island will conveniently be placed at an accessible level.
Consider designing the first floor of your custom home with as few walkways as possible. If you have any, widen them so they’re more spacious than usual.
It’s time to be done with cramped bathrooms.
A report from ABC News shares that most bathroom injuries are caused by slips and falls usually from entering or exiting the shower.
One simple solution to reduce the chances of injury is to install slip-resistant tile floors. It’ll still be slippery due to the water, but your footing will have some extra grip.
For your additional comfort, plan for a walk-in shower instead of a tub. Combo it with a sliding shower door instead of a door that swings open. Spacious, open showers and baths are a luxury you deserve at this point in your life.
Drop us a line at Heitmeyer Building & Design so we can start talking about your custom home design today. We will keep home safety, land placement, and design in mind so you can live comfortably and in style for many years to come.
Heitmeyer Building & Design is a Construction company with over 100 years of experience in commercial construction and residential construction located in Pickerington, Ohio.
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