April 23, 2018

Kaisa Puhle, Naples Design Studio Consultant

This may be a question that you haven’t thought about yet, as the topic of aging is not always the easiest thing to talk about. However, if you are planning to live in your home for the long haul, this may be a topic to address sooner rather than later.
Fortunately, the Americans with Disabilities Act has sent out a list of guidelines that will allow your home to gracefully age with you.  Now that you’ve decided on the home you want to invest in, it’s time to start planning. Don’t worry, there’s nothing to fear, Ashton Woods can help you with a few things to consider at the beginning of construction, to help your home age and evolve with your family:
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Plan Ahead

When building your home, it’s important that doorways and entryways are 36” wide to allow for easy access. Entryways should always be level with no thresholds. Adding a ramp will allow for increase or decrease in elevation. While living spaces should always have ample clearance between furniture including dining tables, seating areas, etc. to ensure accessibility for wheelchair, cane or crutch usage.

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The Heart of Your Home

The kitchen should be designed to allow for everyone to utilize regardless of their capability.  Consider leaving empty space below countertops or extending countertop for seating for wheelchairs to roll under.  This addition should be considered at your kitchen’s prep area as, well if possible. Appliance locations and heights can easily be overlooked during your kitchen design process. A drawer microwave in the island is not only unique but will be a great addition to the aging process of your home. Before making these adjustments be sure to check your local county codes to make sure all regulations are up to par.

There are a few different ways to customize the baths depending on the guest you are accommodating.  If this is not for overnight guests, powder baths with pedestal sink sinks and elevated toilet heights will suffice.  Adding additional blocking support in the walls to stabilize grab bars are a great addition as well.
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For overnight, short-term, or permanent residents, further customization should be considered.  Vanities that are 36” high with a roll under space allow for seating or wheelchair access.  Showers should also have blocking support in the walls for grab bars, with shower benches and handheld showerheads. For wheelchair accessibility, the shower should be designed with a slope, not a threshold, with 60” of open space for wheelchair clearance.
Another design feature to revisit during your design process would be the flooring finishes. Your designer can provide you with the best options for slip-resistant flooring during your selection process.

With a little forethought, you can ensure that your Ashton Woods home will be as timeless as you.

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