Comfort, Safety and Accessibility

house at dusk 

There are many simple, no-cost or low-cost changes you can make to your home that can greatly increase its comfort, safety and accessibility. Most of the products needed for the modifications mentioned here can be purchased at your local hardware store.

Throughout the House

Mount smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level, especially outside bedrooms.

Remove all scatter rugs.

Place double-sided carpet tape or self-stick carpet mesh under area rugs.

Use the highest wattage bulb appropriate for light fixtures.

Use bulbs and fixtures that replicate natural light.

Replace traditional light switches with rocker switches.

Install lever handles on doors or use levers that convert round doorknobs.

Place exposed lamp and telephone cords out of the way.

Install offset hinges on doors to add 2 inches of width for easy access.


Install a nightlight.

Place nonslip strips or decals in the bathtub and on the shower floor.

Mount grab bars by toilets and tubs.

Install a hand-held, adjustable showerhead.

Make sure bathroom doors can be unlocked from the outside.

Install lever-handle faucets with anti-scald protection.

Add a seat extender to the toilet.


Install C- or D-shaped cabinet door and drawer handles.

Place an A-B-C-rated fire extinguisher within easy reach of the stove/range.

Install a lever-handle faucet with anti-scald protection.


Install handrails on both sides of the staircase.

Place nonslip, reflective or contrasting tape on the edge of the stair tread.

Make sure the staircase is well lit at both the top and bottom.

Install nightlights in hallways and at the top and bottom of the staircase.


Install a peephole on exterior doors.

Install motion-sensor floodlights to light the way for you and to deter burglars.

Install photosensitive porch or entryway lighting that will come on at dusk and go off at dawn.

Home Modification Booklet

Categories: Home Design