Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | April 14, 2013

Nearly Accessible

One thing I’ve learned about aging is the need to plan ahead for “what-if.”

When we moved to the small house in 2000 I was age 50 and Gene was age 55. Because we plan on staying here until they “cart us away,” each time we upgraded a portion of our home we did it with “independence” and “aging” in mind. Living sustainably and comfortably is all about living large in a small space!


Our bathroom remodel included non-slip linoleum flooring.


Our shower stall remodel included a wide, large shower with non-slip tile, pull down rinsing head, grab bars and in-shower seating.

While our upgrades stop short of being fully independent living for someone in a wheelchair, this house now easily works for people with limited mobility and other age related issues.

Such as:

  1. Easy access entry
  2. Single-level living
  3. Flexible open floor plan
  4. First floor bedroom
  5. Wide, large shower with non-slip tile, pull down rinsing head, grab bars and in-shower seating
  6. Non-slip linoleum flooring throughout


Pouring the front sidewalk and ramping the cement so that a wheelchair could egress from our driveway down the sidewalk and into our front door.

And when I built the White Oak Studio & Gallery, I incorporated commercial barrier free elements in that 950 sq. ft. building for many of the same reasons. I also put in a kitchenette using our stove and fridge from our former home. This means 36″ wide doors and access to the open back porch to over look the woods and meadow gardens and so as not to feel house bound.


Front of 950 sq. ft. gallery building with cement egress pad and 36″ wide barrier free doorways.

Such as:

  1. Cement egress pad
  2. 36″ wide doors throughout that open out for wheelchair bound
  3. Single story
  4. Open floor plan
  5. Barrier free toilet with grab bars
  6. Accessible porch out back

It has always been at the back of my mind, that if necessary, one of us or both of us could scale down even further if necessary and move to that smaller space and sell or rent the bigger house (2,000 sq. ft.) for income.


Standing in the meadow garden and looking at the open back porch of the gallery/studio building.

I see both of these structures as being functional for Gene and I as we age and as a selling point down the road.

Do you think ahead to the future like this, or am I the only one?

Small House / Big Sky Donna


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