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HBA: Aging-In-Place Remodeling Checklist
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HBA: Aging-In-Place Remodeling Checklist


Have you ever wanted a quick reference for aging-in-place issues? Are you wondering how to incorporate some aesthetically pleasing designs into your projects? If so, the Aging-In-Place Design Checklist might be suited to your needs.

The checklist below contains features you may want to consider for your next new construction or renovation project. It also provides a quick reference for various aging-in-place issues.


• Low-maintenance exterior (vinyl, brick)

• Low-maintenance shrubs and plants

• Deck, patio, or balcony surfaces are no more than a half inch below interior floor level if made of wood


• Plenty of windows for natural light

• Lowered windows or taller windows with lower sill height

• Low maintenance exterior and interior finishes

• Easy to operate hardware

Overall Floor Plan

• Main living on a single story, including full bath

• No steps between rooms/areas on the same level

• 5-foot by 5-foot clear/turn space in living area, kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom

• Hallways minimum of 36-inches wide, wider preferred and well-lit


• Accessible path of travel to the home

• At least one no-step entry with a cover

• Sensor light at exterior no-step entry focusing on the front-door lock

• There needs to be 32-inches of clear width, which requires a 36-inch door

• Levered door hardware

• Non-slip flooring in foyer

• Entry door sidelight or high/low peep hole viewer; sidelight should provide both privacy and safety

• Doorbell in accessible location

• Surface to place packages on when opening door


• Flush preferable

• Exterior maximum of a half inch beveled

• Interior maximum of a quarter inch


• Wall support and provision for adjustable and/or varied height counters and removable base cabinets

• Upper wall cabinetry three inches lower than conventional height

• Accented stripes on edge of countertops to provide visual orientation to the workspace

• Counter space for dish landing adjacent to or opposite all appliances

• Base cabinet with roll out trays and lazy susans

• Pull-down shelving

• Glass-front cabinet doors

• Open shelving for easy access to frequently used items


• Easy to read controls

• Washing machine and dryer raised 12-15 inches above floor

• Front loading laundry machines

• Microwave oven at counter height or in wall

• Side-by-side refrigerator/freezer

• Side-swing or wall oven

• Raised dishwasher with push-button controls

• Electric cook top with level burners for safety in transferring between the burners, front controls and downdraft feature to pull heat away from user; light to indicate when surface is hot


• Adjustable closet rods and shelves

• Lighting in closets

• Easy open doors that do not obstruct access


• Smooth, non-glare, slip-resistant surfaces, interior and exterior

• If carpeted, use low (less than a half inch high pile) density, with firm pad

• Color/texture contrast to indicate change in surface levels


• 30-inch by 48-inch clear space at appliances or 60-inch diameter clear space for turns

• Multi-level work areas to accommodate cooks of different heights

• Open under-counter seated work areas

• Placement of task lighting in appropriate work areas

• Loop handles for easy grip and pull

• Pull-out spray faucet; levered handles

• In multi-story homes, laundry chute or laundry facilities in master bedroom

Many of these features just make good sense no matter what your needs may be. While this aging-in-place remodeling checklist is not all-inclusive, it will get you thinking in the right direction. You may even wonder how you ever lived without them.

This article is provided by the Home Builders Association of Northwest Indiana, a not-for-profit trade association of builders and associated industry professionals dedicated to promoting the American dream of home ownership. Phone (888) 812-9099 or visit


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