Future proof your home for your later years
Are you thinking of building your forever home?
One very important piece of advice I can offer is think of access in your home for down the track, we are all getting older and even though we may not feel it, somewhere down the track you will wish you had thought about your later years when building your forever home, by ensuring that you are able to keep your independence and stay in your own home that you purpose built a lot longer.
As a woman who loves her clothes, getting dressed up and putting on my makeup, I could think of nothing worse than not to be able to enter my walk in robe or be able to put my makeup on in my own bathroom because the doorways were too small. Having to remodel a home to suit access can be a major project and cause a lot of grief, it is much easier to plan ahead at the design stage of your home than to have to move house because you are not able to go up the stairs because you’re in a wheelchair, can’t get into your laundry because the doorway is not wide enough or more importantly, have a shower because you have a hob with a pivot door that won’t open wide enough for you to get in.
Some things to think about when designing your new home that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, on trend and are just plain common sense, that will see you into the next stage of your life without making it look like you are building a home for the elderly.
Limit any double doors or smaller doors to areas that you may access regularly, for example, you walk in robe, ensuite, bedroom, lounge rooms, etc.
Double doors can be a nightmare if you are in a wheelchair, a walking frame or even just frail, they either have to open in or out and generally if in a small door opening, both doors will need to be opened so you can enter the room. This creates a problem, especially in a wheelchair, how do you open 2 doors outwards or inwards without a lot of effort, either on your own or with assistance from others, the easy answer is, you don’t.
Smaller doors, or doorways that won’t allow a wheelchair in if built on a lower storey can create a problem structurally down the track if the doorway needs to be wider as the opening may not be able to be widened as the walls may be supporting the upper slab.
Consider having a hobless shower recess with a glass panel without a door, ensuring of course that the shower recess itself is wide enough to allow for a wheelchair with access in case you need assistance with showering.
Stairs can be a real problem if you need wheelchair access, so consider having your bedroom downstairs, or if that isn’t your preference, make sure that there is a bedroom downstairs that you can in time make your Master bedroom with an ensuite.
Make sure that any rooms that have passages or walk ways are wide enough to fit a wheelchair.
Posted by Lee Grainger
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