Are you planning to build your forever home?
Do you want to age in place?
What are some essential questions to ask your builder?
Here are 5 questions you can ask your builder to get the house that will work best for you.
Maybe you won’t have more children…but you might have grandchildren…and you want everyone to visit you. A level threshold and wide entry door will make it so much easier for visitors. A covered entrance also makes it weather proof, and sensor lighting improves visibility when it’s dark. The stroller test is a good way to see how easy it will be to visit you and therefore how easy it will be for you to live there as well.
It’s essential to think about this kind of daily tasks that make living easy. Ensuring that you can open the doors with oily or wet hands will allow you to choose suitable handles (such as lever handles) that will also be useful with an age related conditions such as arthritis, or just getting in the groceries..
3. If I broke my leg and needed crutches, how do I get to the toilet?
We don’t think about it often, but accidents happen. And having a leg in a plaster can be very complicated when a house does not have a flexible layout. Make sure your builder is considering a well-designed bathroom and places the toilet against a (solid or reinforced) wall so you can add a grab rail easily and quickly if needed. You will be surprised how many people will thank you!
4. How do I find the light switch in the dark?
Every aspect of your home must be well thought out. That means it is easy to find. For the light switches, make sure that your builder plans to place them in line with your door handles and also in other strategic places, like on both sides of your bed. This will make using them a simple and intuitive act and make your life easier without even realizing it.
5. How easy to live in do you rate this place and how do you know?
Will I be able to easily live here once I’m retired, how do you know?
Builders and designers focus on building a quality space and doing a good job, but are not trained to consider how you will live in a space and what it will be like as you age. We also are not good at imagining the future, when our health changes and we require more assistance, so we don’t ask these questions as well. However if you want to age in place then look at the Lifemark standards and just demand that your builder includes these standards in your forever home. Insist on getting a certificate from Lifemark and that is how you will know the home will work well for you, both now and in the future.
It is often the small details that make life more enjoyable. It’s the same for your home.
For more information: lifemark.co.nz
To build a house approved by Lifemark: www.lifemark.co.nz/official-star-rating
To know our standards in terms of accessibility: www.lifemark.co.nz/useful-tips
To find partners: www.lifemark.co.nz/partners-and-products