Easy Living Homes
If you have family members or friends with physical limitations, you may have areas of your home that they’re unable to visit. This is especially problematic if you yourself become disabled or have a disabled person move in with you. How do you accommodate these needs? By building an EasyLiving Home, of course.
According to the EasyLiving Home web site, the EasyLiving Home program is “the nation's first voluntary certification program that specifies criteria in everyday construction to add convenience in your new home and to welcome all friends, family and visitors regardless of age, size or physical ability.”
The EasyLiving Home program was developed by a coalition of public and private organizations to encourage the voluntary inclusion of key features that make a home cost effective, accessible and convenient for everyone without sacrificing style or adding substantial construction costs. EasyLiving Home certification enhances both the initial and resale value of a home, and can be achieved for practically any home regardless of price, building site or architecture.
EasyLiving Home features:
l Step-free entrances provide easy access and are never more than 1/2" from a driveway, sidewalk or other firm route into the central living area.
l Exterior doors provide and interior passages provide easy passage because all doors and hallways on the main level (including bathrooms) offer ample clear passage space.
l Easy use with no less than one bedroom, a kitchen, some entertainment area, and at least one full bathroom with sufficient maneuvering space all on the main floor.
The EasyLiving Home program certifies that homes meet the program requirements through a non-profit coalition of organizations committed to making homes more accessible, including AARP and several access advocacy groups.
While EasyLiving Homes offer a substantial number of special features, virtually any home buyer can afford one because these certified homes are available at all price levels from the most modest starter home to country club estates. The EasyLiving Home program shows builders how to make their homes more convenient by making small improvements that add little or nothing to the cost of new construction, but would be very costly to retrofit later.
EasyLiving Homes are all about convenience. By grouping all the most essential living areas on a single floor with ample-sized doors and a step-free entry, the EasyLiving Home allows easy access for bulky furniture and getting around whether you’re on foot or in a wheelchair.
“While you may be in perfect health now,” the website states, “the day may come when you or a family member experience health problems that could cause limited access to be a real problem. Elderly relatives will appreciate the easy access and extra entry width when they visit you in your new EasyLiving Home. And in an aging society, an EasyLiving Home will have a higher resale value when it's time to sell.”