When you finally build the home of your dreams, you and your family should be able to enjoy it for years to come.That's why GTG Builders recommends our custom home clients include age-in-place features in their designs.
Following age-in-place recommendations and accessibility standards allows you and your family a comfortable home experience, regardless of physical abilities. Whether preparing for retirement or welcoming elderly parents into your abode, aging-in-place keeps your family (and home) together.
Should You Have Accessible Home Features?
Accessible home features are for everyone — literally. It benefits the entire household when you design with accessibility in mind. Your home becomes easier and safer to navigate, which is just as crucial for grandma and grandpa as it is for teetering two-year-olds who tend to bonk their heads into every piece of furniture.
Installing unique home features that prioritize accessibility also ensures that everyone — no matter their level of ability — feels safe, welcome, and comfortable in your home. Isn't that the goal?
These features can even come in handy in the event of accidents. Say your kid breaks their leg falling out of the tree in the backyard, even though you've told them a million times not to climb it. Moving them around the house with a bulky cast, crutches, or wheelchair could be a significant challenge. But, if you already have accessibility features in place, your predicament won't be nearly so complicated. You'll be able to focus on caring for your kid without a huge hassle.
What are the Must-Haves When Building a New Home? 10 Aging-In-Place Custom Home Ideas
Age-in-place features might not sound like they fit into your vision for a charming custom home. However, we assure you these additions are more luxurious than you'd think. Take a look at our list of accessibility-improving, cool things to include when building a house to see for yourself!
Choose an Open Layout
A house with lots of doorways, halls, and corners is challenging to navigate — especially for someone who uses a wheelchair or walker. Even if someone in your family doesn't currently use a mobility device, they may in the future, so you need to plan for that scenario. Prevent mobility problems by requesting a modern, open layout for your custom home.
Open floorplans are hallmarks of contemporary homes. Most homeowners nowadays opt for an open layout, even if they aren't thinking about accessibility, because of how beautiful this home structure can be. They make your interior feel spacious, connected, and cohesive, in addition to the accessibility benefits.
Accessible Doors & Hallways
Along the same lines, age-in-place homes need larger hallways and doors to have plenty of space for wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters.
The Americans with Disabilities Act says accessible entrances should be at least 32 inches wide compared to the typical industry standard of 24 inches. While you're at it, request door handles instead of knobs, as they are much easier for aging hands to use.
Your hallways should also be more expansive. Aim for hallways that are four feet wide (but you can make three feet work too). When discussing dimensions with your builder, consider whether you plan to put furniture in your hallways. Maybe you have a gorgeous family-heirloom console table that you want in the entryway. That's great! But make sure you take the dimensions of your table into account. If the table is one foot wide in a three-foot hallway, then your hallway wouldn't be accessible; you'll need to add an extra foot or two.
Main Floor Suite
Stairs can be challenging to get up and down — not to mention that they're dangerous. Putting at least one bedroom and bathroom (preferably combined into a suite) on the first floor solves this problem.
A main-floor suite eliminates the risk of falling down the stairs altogether. Going in and out of bed each day will be much more enjoyable for you or your loved ones when there aren't daunting steps awaiting them.
Curbless Walk-In Showers
Wet and slippery bathrooms are one of the most fall-prone rooms in a house. You can reduce fall risks and make it easier to get in and out of the shower by choosing a curbless walk-in shower design.
Removing the step-up usually required by a shower-tub combination makes showering much safer. Plus, walk-in showers are the ultimate bathroom luxury. They instantly elevate your space, especially if you adorn them with stunning tiles and a frameless glass door.
Be sure to include a bench or chair in the shower, so someone can sit and avoid slipping. We also recommend adding a handheld showerhead to get good water coverage even when sitting.
Heated flooring is one of the coolest home features, and they also increase comfort as you age! As anyone over the age of 70 can tell you,
it gets more difficult to keep warm as you age. Your sensitivity to cold increases, which makes winter brutal.
Heated floors are a luxury that will consistently keep you warm. You can add them to the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, basement, or anywhere else to ensure your home stays comfortable year-round. Plus, heat rises, so heated floors are a great way to warm your home.
An in-law suite is an excellent investment if you want your parents or other older relatives to live with you someday. In-law suites usually have a bedroom, bathroom, small kitchen, and an entrance separate from the main house; this enables increased independence and privacy for you and your loved one.
You can build an in-law suite in your basement, off the main floor, or consider an accessory dwelling unit. ADUs are smaller, secondary buildings on your property, like a cottage.
What Makes a Custom Home Special?
Home customization makes all the difference when it comes to building a dream home. With a capable design team at your side, you can create the luxury kitchen you've always wanted, plan out the perfect storage solutions, install a stunning fireplace, and so much more.
Get All the New home Must-Haves with GTG Builders
Don't wait. Invest in your custom home now and enjoy it for the rest of your life.