• Mark Berryman.

Age-proofing your home with good design

We love living in our homes. We adapt our habits around favourite spots in the home which come from the many experiences, memories and moments over the years. For many of us we will continue to add to these memories long into our retirement years.

In the excitement of the design and build process for a new home, most people are not thinking about how to 'age proof' their homes, yet the early design stage is one of the best times to include features that would make your home comfortable as you age. We’ve highlighted some simple to consider to age-proof your new home:

1. Make sure that the essential parts of the home are on the entry level.
If a one level home is not for you, then ensure that the kitchen, laundry, bathroom, toilet and a good-sized bedroom are on the entry level. If building a multi-level home, installing a lift or a design that allows the installation of a lift later makes good sense for when trips up and down stairs are difficult to manage.

2. Make entry ways to your home easy to access.
Wide doors not only look better and make moving in easier, they also provide ease of access for walking frames and wheelchairs. Ramps to entryways can be incorporated into the design to keep the look and feel that you want for your home.

3. Incorporate design features that will work now and into the future.
There are some excellent cabinetry design options and well designed and crafted fittings that can be incorporated into your home; from walk-in bath-tubs, basins that a wheelchair can fit under, and kitchen cabinetry that has more drawers than hard-to-reach cupboards above eye level. It is also possible to install nogs in the bathroom walls where handrails can be fitted easily in the future.

While it can be hard at the start of the build to imagine your needs past retirement age, it is worthwhile to keep in mind that we live longer and only around 10% of kiwis opt for retirement home living.  This means that investing in a home, that will serve you in your post-retirement years, in the style that you want, surrounded by your life memories, is well worth it.


For homes that grow with you through your life stages, talk to Selah Homes today. We are your design and build specialists and will guide you through the process from beginning to end.

Issue 101 August 2019