15 Tips for Building Your Forever Home

Many of us spend much of our early adult years imagining our dream house. We think through the perfect property, fantasy amenities and custom trims. But the wise homeowner also thinks through a home they can live in forever -- as a young family, through the hustle and bustle of midlife, and when struggling through some of the common physical limitations that come with getting older — from arthritis to cognitive changes or to requiring assistive devices. We at Tri-Built work with our clients to ensure that their homes not only last a lifetime but meet the needs of it’s residents for a lifetime.

Forever Home Structural Design Tips

  • Single Story — if that is not possible then, ideally, there should be least one bedroom with a full bathroom on the main floor, located away from living areas and main-floor laundry room.

  • At least one three-foot-wide, gently sloping, no-step entry — allowing someone with a stroller, wheelchair, or walker to easily enter.

  • An open, spacious floor plan with five-and-a-half foot hallways (instead of the usual four-foot) this provides a modern look while it accommodates strollers, walkers, and wheelchairs.

Forever Home Kitchen Design Tips

  • A variety of work surface heights, such as countertops that are low in some places along the perimeter and higher in a center island, works for a user who's sitting on a tall stool or low chair, or standing.

  • D-shaped drawer pulls are easy to grasp and pull open.

  • Mounting kitchen outlet and garbage disposal controls on the counter makes them handier than in their customary, hard-to-reach position at the sink backsplash.

  • Raised, front-loading dishwashers which don't require stooping or reaching.

Forever Home Bathroom Tips

  • Smart shower handles move in one obvious way from hot to cold and don't require three different maneuvers to get the water to flow at the desired temperature.

  • A curbless shower stall with a slightly sloping floor aids safety, accessibility, drainage and cleanup

  • Raised or adjustable toilet seats.

  • A molded seat in the shower stall can look attractive and modern.

  • Mirrors placed where they can be seen from sitting and standing positions, such as a full-length or tilting mirror, mean you don't have to crane to see yourself.

Forever Home Accessory Tips

  • Rocker-panel light switches can be easily flipped with a fist or an elbow (unlike standard toggle switches) if you're carrying something and don't have fingers free.

  • Switches and controls are placed at easy-to-use heights, more convenient to more people than the standard placements (42 to 48 inches from the floor, thermostat controls that are about 48 inches off the floor, and electrical outlets and phone jacks that are 18 to 24 inches off the floor).

  • Handrails on both sides of the staircase give support.

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