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7 DIY Home Improvement Ideas for Your Forever House


“We want our homes to adapt to our needs so we can stay as many years as possible,” says Ty Pennington, designer, carpenter, author and host of HGTV’s Battle on the Beach. That includes entrances and exits that allow a smooth transition in and out of the property. But that “doesn’t mean you need to take a hit on curb appeal,” he says, noting that bold design statements start at the front door.

Try it yourself

Painting your door with a pop of color — yellow, aubergine, orange or black — can make your house the most stylish one on the block,” Pennington says, “modern, sophisticated and clean.” It’s inexpensive, and the good news is, “if you hate it, you can repaint it.” Make the entry functional, too. For older visitors and first responders, “it’s nice to add large address numbers” made of reflective or glow-in-the-dark material, he says. Consider a new doorknob, too. Lever-style door handles are easier on the hands than a round knob or thumb latch.

Call in a pro

“Hiring an electrician to add lighting to your entrance and front steps might cost a little, but it feels like a million-dollar fix up,” says Pennington.

For now and forever

Lori Bellport, founder of Live in Place Designs, which helps people stay in their homes as they age, recommends putting a bench or table next to your front door for setting down items or for arriving deliveries. Also, “remove screen doors or storm doors, since that’s just another barrier to accessibility,” she says. And front doors should be a minimum of 34 inches wide, with “swing clear” hinges to maximize the entry width.


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