Some 70% of seniors spend the rest of their life in the place they celebrated their 65th birthday. Think about that for a minute. It means that the new home that you are planning to build will most likely be the home you live in for the rest of your life, and that is a good thing.

However, with that in mind, your home should be designed to support the physical and sensory changes that older adults encounter as we age. Our Southern Timbercraft designers can prepare plans that take into account age-related conditions such as reduced mobility or limited range of reach without sacrificing the beauty of a custom wood home elements.

Below you will find a checklist of options to discuss with our designers. You’ll still have the home you’ve always wanted, but forever can be much more comfortable from a place where you can age safely. Get in touch with us to begin the discussion.

Here are some ideas for making your new home safe for aging in place without compromising beauty.


Adapt lower floor of home for possible one level living

Increased incandescent general and specific task lighting

Easy garage or parking access

At least one entry is without steps

Doorways 36″ wide with offset hinges on doors

Levered door handles instead of knobs

Electrical outlets at 18 inches instead of 12

Easy to open or lock patio doors and screens

Light switches at 42″ instead of 48

Adjustable controls on light switches

Luminous switches in bedrooms, baths and hallways

Strobe light or vibrator-assisted smoke and burglar alarms

Lower windowsills especially for windows on the street

Programmable thermostats for heating and cooling

Contrast colors between floor and walls

Color borders around floor and counter-top edges

Non-skid flooring where possible

Peephole at a low height

Incorporation of emergency response system installed or wearable


Lever faucets and faucet mixers with anti-scald valves

Temperature controlled shower and tub fixtures

Stall shower with a low threshold and shower seat

Grab bars at back and sides of shower, tub and toilet or wall reinforcement for later installation

Bathrooms with turn around and transfer space for walker or wheelchair (36″ by 36″)

Higher bathroom counters

Installation of medical response device


Kitchen cabinets with pullout shelves and lazy susans

Easy to grasp cabinet knobs or pulls

Task lighting under counters

Adjustable upper shelves and pull out lower shelves

Variety in kitchen counter height – some as low as table height (30 inches)

Gas sensor near gas cooking, water heater and gas furnace

Color or pattern borders at counter edges