Timber frames offer an opportunity to age in place, with grace. Our home plan was carefully thought through as we considered the years to come.
While not fully compliant with “universal design”, we did think through living on the first floor of our home as we age. The only (short) hall is 4′ wide. The interior doors are all 34″ to 36″ wide and are pocket doors. Exterior doors are 36″ and more wide. The bathtub can easily be replaced with a shower, when needed. The bedroom and bathroom are accessible through two doorways. The back porch steps were positioned so they could be replaced by a ramp if needed. Access to the kitchen is 4′ wide.
We purchased a washer/dryer combination that is loaded from the front (and only once…clothes go into the tub dirty and come out clean and dry).
We built so that with very little renovation, our home would take us through our golden years, even if they are not as golden as we’d like. The upstairs offers a sitting area, bedroom, and private bath for a caregiver, if needed.
Timber frames typically have no bearing walls. This flexibility, if needed, will allow for changes to accommodate lifestyle changes. Today’s “open concept” home will translate easily to “livable” when it is harder to get around.
So think through your plan as you consider a home. Plan for today…and for tomorrow. While we’d all like to be 105 and dancing with the stars, it may not happen and we need to be ready. Design a home that lives well today and will live well tomorrow.
Our plan has become Goshen‘s Creekside model. Check out all of the plans to get an idea of the possiblities.
And remember to Build Boldly!