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Aging in Place  /  March 7, 2016

Exterior Remodeling Ideas for Aging in Place

One aspect of remodeling for aging in place that does not get enough consideration is a home’s exterior.

As homeowners age, maintaining the outside our homes can increasingly become a burden. Using these home exterior ideas, and the assistance of Handyman Connection of Carmel, you can plan ahead for maintenance that can help you achieve a lower level of upkeep for the outside of your home. We know these ideas can make it safer and easier to navigate outside, and help you with getting in and out of your Carmel home.


As we grow older, getting in and out of our homes can become more difficult. Making the proper preparations now will help alleviate many common problems, such as not being able to climb stairs, or allowing access by a wheelchair or walker. It will also help prevent accidents associated caused by improper access, such as slippery walking surfaces or tripping. Making these types of changes to the ways you enter your home can make your life a little easier, as well.

Doorways should be 36” wide. This will allow people to enter your home, whether walking, using a cane or walker, or using a wheelchair. (Typically, 32” is the minimum width that a wheelchair can get through.) If you can’t change the size of the opening, another approach is the use of offset door hinges. Using these hinges can increase the clearance of a narrow door.

Low/Zero Entries

Older people or those with limited range of motion may have a hard time lifting their legs up and over a traditional threshold. So, modifying the threshold (step up) at the main doorway so it is 1/2″ or less is very important. There are several this can be done, such as replacing the existing sill or raising your porch. An experienced (and licensed) remodeler could offer suggestions appropriate for your home and needs.

Steps & Sidewalks

As we said previously, removing steps by adding a low or zero entry will reduce the risk of falling and make the transition easier from outside to inside. Depending on the elevation of the ground at this entrance you may need to look at alternative doors for entry or exit in order to avoid the step. Also, any steps should have a texture surface applied to them to prevent slipping. If you have multiple steps, consider installing a ramp for easier access. Another good way to prevent falls if you have multiple steps into your home is installing a handrail on both sides of the steps. Ensuring that your sidewalk is wide enough, slip resistant and free of tripping hazards will help keep occupants safe. If the sidewalk is prone to be slippery or is uneven in places, you should consider having a textured surface applied to it. Also, cracked and/or uneven sidewalks can be major tripping hazards. Have a licensed contractor look at issues like these to enhance your ability to safely enter your home.

Owning a home can present many challenges that can be overwhelming for today’s aging homeowners.
If you’re looking for an affordable and experienced handyman company to turn to for your home remodeling and maintenance tasks, call Handyman Connection of Carmel. We offer quality service that’s done right the first time. Call us today for a free, no-obligation project estimate.

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