Easy Living Homes Delivers 3 Beneficial Features: Miscellaneous Features

  1. Convenient Access: Convenient, step-free entries into your home and throughout your home helps avoid trips and falls. These easy entry and threshold-free doorways make it easier for family and/or friends who rely on assistance for mobility.
  2. Convenient Passage: With wider hallways and doorways, there is plenty of room to pass through without bumping into walls or door frames. This means complete independence for those who struggle with small or narrow spaces.
  3. Convenient Usage: All necessary living space is located on the main floor. This means fewer trips up and down the stairs since all the rooms you spend most of your time in are on one level. This self-contained floor makes it possible for people who develop a serious medical condition to remain in their home and retain their independence.

There are numerous things to consider when building or remodeling your home to this design. Chances are, your home will not need all of the suggestions listed, but it is wise to think of the future for yourself or a family member who may make regular visits into your home.

NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION

There is a huge advantage to include “Universal Design” into the construction phase of your new home.

  • Average price to upgrade your home to this design is only 5% more.
  • Contractors do not have any building codes to follow when applying this design. This is an advantage for the home owner as it gives them more freedom to design the home to suit the family’s needs.
  • Preparing your home to add this design in the future is possible during the construction phase. A few examples of this are blocking for future grab bars, structural framing of wider doorways, pre-positioned electrical, plumbing and HVAC rough-ins.

EXISTING HOME MODIFICATIONS

There are all kinds of things to consider when remodeling your home to this type of design. Even though there are many suggestions that can be made, chances are, you may need only a few of them to make it more accessible for you. A good suggestion would be to take it one project at a time to avoid extra stress. Some jobs are quick, easy and inexpensive. On the other hand, there are much larger projects that are more in-depth and expensive.

Next, you will find a lengthy list of possible solutions to modify your entire home to make it an “Easy Living Home”

Here are some Misc. area’s that can be transformed into a more user-friendly space:

The Closets:

  • Items that aren’t used have been thrown away
  • Most things in the closet are reachable while sitting
  • The closet rod is 20” – 44” off the floor
  • There are drawers and shelves in the organized closet
  • The drawers are no more than 30” off the floor
  • There are full-extension drawers that pull all the way out
  • The shelves are 18” or less deep
  • The bottom drawers are deeper than the top drawers
  • There are special shoe shelves on the wall
  • There is motion sensors in the closets to operate the lighting
  • The door to the closet is at least 32” wide (36” is ideal)
  • If there is a light switch, it is easy to reach
  • The closet is 5’ – 6’ wide for a single line of hanging space
  • The closet is 8’ wide for a double row of hanging space
  • The closet is open at both ends to walk/roll through

The Electrical:

  • The electrical outlets are 24” off the floor
  • All appliances are within 6” of an outlet
  • There are no extension cords being used
  • Each room has a reachable light switch at the door
  • There is an outlet on the light switch near each door
  • HVAC control is mounted no higher than 48” off the floor
  • There are timer switches on the bathroom exhaust fans
  • Electrical box has circuit breakers
  • Top of breaker panel is no higher than 48” off the floor
  • GFCI’s are installed in the kitchen, baths, laundry room and exterior of the house
  • Light switches are no higher than 48” off the floor
  • Rocker light switches are being used
  • There are dimmer switches with preset devices and slide controls present in the house
  • There are 3 way switches at the top and bottom of the stairs and hallways
  • There are motion sensors being used in closets, hallways, and pantry
  • There is emergency back-up power in case of emergency

The Laundry Room:

  • The laundry room is on the main floor of the house
  • There are front-loading machines
  • All laundry supplies are within easy reach
  • There is a rolling cart with a fold down shelf to sort clothing

The Lighting:

  • Natural daylight is being taken advantage of by opening curtains and shades
  • There is a window near the favorite seating
  • There is a lamp with a flexible neck by the favorite chair
  • The windows are clean
  • The windows are low enough to look out of when sitting
  • There is enough overhead lighting throughout the house
  • The highest wattage bulbs are being used for maximum light
  • The light bulbs are easy to change
  • There are 3-way bulbs in all reading lamps
  • There are floor lamps to use for ask lighting where needed
  • All stairways and hallways are well lit
  • There is a light switch at the top and bottom of stairs
  • Nightlights are used in the bathroom and kitchen at night
  • The light switches are rocker switches
  • There are easy to clean light fixtures throughout the house
  • All exterior walkways are well lit
  • Outside lights turn on automatically

The Smoke Detectors:

  • There are smoke detectors on each floor of the house
  • There is at least 1 battery operated detector
  • There is at least 1 electrically operated detector
  • The smoke detectors are mounted on the ceiling
  • The batteries get changed at least twice a year
  • The smoke alarms are vacuumed at least once a year
  • The alarms are tested once a month
  • There is a fire extinguisher on each floor of the house
  • There is an extra fire extinguisher in the kitchen
  • Smoke detectors have strobe lights

The Exterior and Home Entrance:

  • There is a covered entryway
  • The entryway is well lit
  • There is a peep hole at a lower level
  • There is a package shelf at the entrance for holding items while opening the door
  • The street number and doorbell are highly visible
  • There is an intercom system at the entry way for visitors to identify themselves
  • Lever style door handles
  • Single locking mechanism
  • Kick plates on bottom or side of door
  • Ramps have handrails on both sides
  • The top surface of the handrail is 34” – 38” above the floor surface
  • There is a 2” curb on each side of the ramp
  • The ramp is sloped away from the door 1/8” per 12”
  • The ramp has landings to stop and rest at any corners and before the entrance door
  • The handrail is shaped for easy gripping
  • The handrail goes 12” beyond the bottom of the ramp
  • The wall mounted handrails have finger space of exactly 1 ½”
  • The standard driveway is a minimum width of 12’
  • The single garage door is 9’ wide
  • The double garage door is 18’ wide
  • The garage provides a minimum of 12’ x 3’ area for ramping up to the living level
  • There is drainage and an anti-slip floor surface
  • Garage door opener/s

The Homes Flooring:

  • All floors are non-slip
  • There isn’t any bulky carpeting
  • There isn’t any area rugs on any floors

Other Things To Consider:

  • There is a magnifying glass near the area where RX are taken
  • There is voice dialing installed on the telephone so they can speak the number instead of pushing buttons
  • The telephone has large numbers
  • The telephone has the volume increased
  • The edges of the steps are marked with a 1” – 2” strip of bright colored paint or tape
  • To help locate the bottom step, there is a strip of Velcro at the end of the handrail
  • The stairways have handrails on both sides
  • The handrails extend beyond the top and bottom of the stairs

If you would like for us to come as assess your home, please give us a call 920-865-7700.  

 

Article written by Lisa M Arthur Huben
Custom Kreations, Inc.