Built-to-Order Bungalows As We Age

It’s happening. We are getting older, and before you bemoan the fact remember, it is better than the alternative. Growing older is a part of life, so preparing for the inevitable is a smart move. This is especially true as it relates to home living. It is common, as people approach retirement age, and as children move away from home, to begin thinking of how to downsize into a smaller, more manageable place. Right now you are navigating the stairs just fine, but thinking ahead 10-20 years from now makes you cringe. You don’t really want to make a move, you love your present home, but the better part of valor seems to indicate that you should make the decision now rather than later. What if you were able to build a home that perfectly fit your needs now and then also? Built-to-order construction allows you to do just that, and It is also an option for families caring for elder parents.

Sure you’re getting older, but you’re not dead yet. You want to enjoy this time in your life, as there are many exciting joys ahead. Here’s an idea. A built-to-order home could be just the right decision for you. Incorporate all of the amenities that are helpful as you age. Build a house that is even more beautiful than the one in which you are living, but one that will meet your needs going forward; a last stop house, so to speak. Building it will eliminate the need to move again, if you add or exclude the elements that would make that a necessity.

A few ideas follow:

Hopefully you will continue to enjoy the same mobility as you always have. But, we are thinking ahead and planning a house based on the “what if’s”, (what if this or that happened?).

Stairs are perhaps a home’s most obvious offense to the aging. Some homeowners have been known to avoid the stairs altogether. The upstairs is basically wasted space until the grandchildren arrive. If this describes your scenario, then your one-stop, built-to-order house should be one level. No more stairs.

Flooring is an issue for elder residents. Eliminate all tripping hazards. Floors should be even. They should also be as seamless as possible going from one room to the other. Ask the builder what choices meet these requirements.  The builder will know what flooring is less likely to trip you up. He may suggest tile, wood or cork, which are great options.

Doors are a consideration as we age. Your new home should be outfitted with doors and entrances into the house that are wide enough to accommodate a wheel chair or walker. Staying in your home could come down to a door’s width. Installing the correct size now will diminish the problem later on. It is easier to configure the proper width from scratch, than to retrofit it later. Additionally, there should be enough turn around room as you pass through the door. This is particularly true in tight spaces like a bath or laundry room.

Outlets require bending and sometimes stretching. Placing wall outlets higher and switches a bit lower will help. The builder will know what is standard, and will adjust accordingly.

Countertops and kitchen cabinets might need to be lowered for easier access. This is an adjustment that you may be able to make at a later time. It may become necessary to lower the sink, also.

Shower/bath modifications are the main concern for the bathroom. A walk-in shower is a safer option for seniors. A walk-in tub is another. If either options are unappealing, then add safety strips to the current tub, and a safety bar to help prevent slips and falls.

West Ridge Fine Homes are build-to-order specialist. We will help you through the process of building a home suits your needs for tomorrow, as well as it does today.




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