4 Ways to Make Your Home More Retirement-Friendly
As you near retirement, it's important to make sure you are ready for this new stage, including the accessibility of your own home. Consider these tips to make your house a little more retirement-friendly.
Open the Floor Plan
Image via Flickr by Sugar Beach Residences
Opening the floor plan is one of the best things you can do to get your home up to par. Removing inessential walls from entry halls, the kitchen, family room, and other areas of your living space allows for a more modern, comfortable feel. It also helps remove obstacles and allows you to more easily navigate the home. Creating an open floor plan can be costly up front, but it saves you time, energy, and stress in the long run.
Start replacing the fixtures around your home. This may seem like it's a step that you can skip, but as you get older, you're going to need easy-to-access fixtures. Consider changing cabinet pulls to D-shaped handles rather than knobs. Motion- or timer-activated lights help improve visibility in the home, which is beneficial to everyone. In addition to this, make sure that low-light areas are sufficiently well lit. You can do this by either adding lamps or installing new lighting fixtures.
No one is saying that it's time to install grab bars in the showers, but it is a good time to start thinking about how you use your shower. If you're doing a remodel in the bathroom, consider adding curb-free showers. This is a stylish modern design that not only looks great but also is extremely practical. With no lip, you're eliminating a trip risk to everyone in your home. The cost of this renovation is generally around $1,000. Keep in mind that the cost varies depending on the specifics needs of your home and the part of the country where you live.
Traditionally, most electrical outlets are placed 12–18 inches from the floor. However, this requires a lot of bending when you need to plug in electrical items. Ask an electrician to reinstall your outlets higher. When asked, most electricians will place outlets 24 inches or more from the floor to help make your home more retirement-friendly, but remember that while you don't want to bend to reach all the outlets in your home, you also don't want to have to strain to reach them.
Working with your home proactively to create a space that is ready for you at any age is an important step. This allows you to stay comfortable in your house for as long as possible. Taking these steps to create a retirement-friendly home helps ensure that you're happy there for years to come.