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Old 01-28-2008, 08:07 PM   #21
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A couple more:

Easy to clean windows - the kind that slide out for easy access. Our Anderson windows are like a Rubiks Cube to get to each side of the window and storm.

Be nice to not be dependent on a sump pump - that just means more hassles; a back-up system, and a mess if/when a failure occurs.

Consider a covered walk-way from part of the the driveway to the front or side door. While the occupants normally come in through the garage, it's nice if guests can get in/out under cover in the rain.

If you need a water softener, some easy way to get the salt in to unit.

We have a set of those flimsy fold-down stairs to access the attic storage above the garage. It would be nice to have a permanent, wide (30"-36"?) stairway and railing. It would take up some garage space, but that would be storage under the stairs anyway.

Just stuff I think of about our own house.


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Old 01-28-2008, 08:56 PM   #22
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Stairways, hallways, interior doors, and at least one exterior door configured such that large things can occasionally be moved in, out, and roundabout without too much trouble.

Plain vertical surfaces instead of inset or curved or coiled; so dust does not collect in little corners/ledges.

Over wire, over plumb, over insulate.

Easily accessed wiring, plumbing, gas lines.

Built in greenhouse; plants help clean the air in a well insulated house, and they are pleasing to the eye.

A mud room.

A janitor's sink.

Floor drains in kitchen, bathroom, laundry.

Do not have doorways set up so main traffic route is through the kitchen.

Individual indoor switches for external electric stuff.

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Old 01-28-2008, 09:02 PM   #23
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Speaking of plumbing, we found an excellent plumber, and had him install ball valves under all the sinks to shut off hot or cold water when a faucet must be replaced. We also arranged our cabinets so they are easy to get into when doing work under there.

I hate those old-fashioned shutoffs used under most sinks in homes. A ball valve has a straight handle that needs only be pulled forward a quarter turn or so to completely turn off the water. And the ball valves do not start leaking like the other style turn off devices do.

Have had the ball valves installed everywhere there is a shutoff, and added additional ball valve shutoffs where there were none before: saves shutting down the water to the whole house when something goes amiss, as plumbing sometimes does.
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:12 PM   #24
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In general: make stuff easy to access, maintain, repair, clean.
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:25 PM   #25
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Some great ideas, I like the simple ones like lever style door handles easier to manage than knobs, and cabinet doors with no latch that don't require strength to open.

How about rounded corners on walls, just in case of a fall or a stumble in the dark doesn't cause you to hit a sharp corner.

Likewise, rounded counter edges in kitchen and bathrooms instead of squared.

Low voltage lighting near floor level to help with navigating at night, though of course you can do this with plug in lights too.

If you're at all sensitive to dust now, consider an electrostatic filter on your furnace. I have no real idea how effective they are so do your research. I do have a humidifier and like that to keep winters from being too dry.

A more open floor plan where you can hear the other yell for help makes sense for safety over the more traditional plan where you might have the bedroom at the end of a hallway away from the rest of the house. But conversely, if hearing starts to go and one of you likes the TV cranked up while the other is trying to sleep, some isolation could be good.

An eating counter next to the kitchen can be very nice to not have to carry dishes so far.

A mudroom leading to the garage with a bench to sit on to put on shoes, coat hooks for convenience, and hooks and cubbies/shelves so things like keys, gloves, outgoing mail, etc, are easily found.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:47 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post

Low voltage lighting near floor level to help with navigating at night, though of course you can do this with plug in lights too.
I've often wished for an outlet or two along our stairway - for night lights. I could think of a couple of other places where an outlet for such would be a good idea.

Consider more outlets for the master bath - if you need to plug in an electric razor, beard trimmer, curling iron, hair dryer, electric toothbrushes....

No one has mentioned putting in the higher profile toilets (considered appropriate for handicapped). Unless you are very short you probably will like them better anyway.

A pedestal sink in the guest bath might seem pretty wheelchair accessible.

We built a custom endcap to cabinetry in the kitchen - for vitamins, meds and such. Also planned switches within reach on each side of the master bed for lights, ceiling fan and a small "down light" for reading for each person.

Extra coat closet near entrance from garage to house (this also housed the central vac hose).

Walk-in pantry is nice - easy to see things (bigger pans and serving dishes as well as pantry foods).

If you go ahead and put in a five or six foot hallway, you can line it with bookcases down one side or do built-ins instead of taking up valuable room space.


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