Morris Builders Inc.

Torch Award 2017

(616) 874-6110
143 Courtland St.
Rockford, MI 49341

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Recently we attended an event held by the Advocates of Senior Issues where we presented information on Aging in Place and how renovating your home can push back the need for assisted living.  The Advocates for Senior Issues is a non-partisan association made up of local citizens and organizations interested in the concerns and well-being of older adults, of which we are a Gold Sponsor.

We know how important it is to you to continue living in a familiar environment throughout your maturing years.  That’s why we at Morris Builders, Inc. are Certified Aging-In-Place Specialists and can address the growing number of consumers that will soon require these modifications.

Have you had concerns about your home and its aging-in-place issues? Are you wondering how to incorporate some aesthetically pleasing designs into your projects?

Here is our aging-in-place checklist that contains features you may want to consider for your next renovation project. ** Please note that all these issues may not apply to you or your home and also note that this list is not comprehensive, meaning your project may require changes not shown here.


  • Low-maintenance exterior (vinyl, brick)
  • Low-maintenance shrubs and plants
  • Deck, patio, or balcony surfaces that are no more than a half inch
    below interior floor level if made of wood
  • Accessible path of travel to the home
  • At least one no-step entry with a cover
  • There needs to be 32-inches of clear width, which requires a 36-inch door
  • Wider than average carports to accommodate lifts on vans
  • Ramp to doorway, if needed
  • Handrail, if steps
  • Five-foot landing provided at entrance
  • Two-inch curbs for safety


  • Main living on a single story, including a full bath
  • No steps between rooms/areas on the same level
  • 5-foot by 5-foot clear/turn space in living area, kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom
  • Hallways - Minimum of 36-inches wide, wider preferred and well lit
  • There needs to be 32-inches of clear width, which requires a 36-inch door
  • Levered door hardware
  • Lever handles or pedal-controlled faucets
  • Wall support and provision for adjustable and/or varied height counters and removable base cabinets
  • Upper wall cabinetry three inches lower than conventional height
  • Counter space for dish landing adjacent to or opposite all appliances
  • Base cabinet with roll out trays and lazy susans
  • Pull-down shelving
  • Appliances with Easy to read controls
  • Washing machine and dryer raised 12-15 inches above floor
  • Front loading laundry machines
  • Microwave oven at counter height or in wall
  • Side-by-side refrigerator/freezer
  • Side-swing or wall oven
  • Raised dishwasher with push-button controls
  • Electric cook top with level burners for safety in transferring between the burners, front controls and downdraft feature to pull heat away from user; light to indicate when surface is hot
  • 30-inch by 48-inch clear space at appliances or 60-inch diameter clear space for turns
  • Multi-level work areas to accommodate cooks of different heights
  • Open under-counter seated work areas
  • Loop handles for easy grip and pull
  • At least one wheelchair maneuverable bath on main level with 60-inch turning radius or acceptable T-turn space and 36-inch by 36-inch or 30-inch by 48-inch clear space
  • Bracing in walls around tub, shower, shower seat, and toilet for installation of grab bars to support 250-300 pounds
  • If stand-up shower is used in main bath, it is curbless and minimum of 36-inches wide
  • Bathtub - lower for easier access
  • Fold down seat in the shower
  • Adjustable/handheld showerheads, 6-foot hose
  • Light in shower stall
  • Toilet two and half inches higher than standard toilet (17-19 inches) or height-adjustable
  • Wall-hung sink with knee space and panel to protect user from pipes
  • Slip-resistant flooring in bathroom and shower
  • Adequate hand rails on both sides of stairway, one and a quarter inch diameter
  • Residential elevator or lift
  • Ramps with slope no greater than one inch rise for each 12-inches in length, adequate handrails
  • Adjustable closet rods and shelves
  • Lighting in closets
  • Easy open doors that do not obstruct access
  • Light switches, thermostats, and other environmental controls placed in accessible locations no higher than 48 inches from floor
  • Electrical outlets 15-inches on center from floor; may need to be closer than 12-feet apart
  • Clear access space of 30-inches by 48-inches in front of switches and controls
  • Easy-to-see and read thermostats
  • Pre-programmed thermostats
  • Direct wired to police, fire and EMS (as option)
  • If carpeted, use low (less than a half inch high pile) density, with firm pad
  • Separate apartment for rental income or future caregiver
  • Flex room that can used as a nursery or playroom when the children are young and as a home office later; if combined with a full bath, room could also be used for an aging parent/aging in place

Additional information