Common fixes for the house as you age

Doorways can be widened.

Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Doorways can be widened.


Doorways can be widened to 34 inches, or even 36, to make it easier and safer for residents to easily navigate throughout the house. Wider doorways are also helpful for those with wheelchairs and walkers. Costs can range from $300 to $800 for each doorway.

The first-floor bathroom will need to be renovated into a full bath if you plan on relocating the bedroom from the second floor. Additions can include step-in showers, smaller vanities, new toilets, wider doors, and even a washer-dryer set. Renovations are costly, easily running into the thousands of dollars.


Mechanical stair climbers can be added for those who will continue with second-floor living. The sitdown types are costly to install, though: anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, even more.

Entrance ramps outside the home make it much easier to get in and out once the stairs become too much work. One thing to keep in mind: The height off the ground of entrance doors can make a big difference in the length and cost of those ramps, as well as the location of doorways.

Jay Fitzgerald

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