Home hints, page 1

Helpful Home Hints CoverPlanning to buy a new home or renovate your current one?

Take some time to think about whether your house will grow older gracefully with you and help make your later years comfortable, safe and secure.

A home that is practical and meets your needs means that you won't have to worry about costly alterations in later years or buying another house when your income could be less. Think about how you can adapt things in your home now to make your life easier in the future.



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Further information


Feeling safe

Security doors and screens help keep your home secure. They should allow ventilation without any safety or security risk. Doubled-keyed deadlocks on the front and back doors provide added security, but make sure you keep a key in a familiar place in case of an emergency. Security eye viewers on front and back doors can allow you to identify visitors without having to open the door.

It's an idea to improve your home's lighting outdoors to help with security. Sensor lights, which come on automatically when anyone approaches your home, should be placed at each corner of your house and in dark areas. The lights should be linked so that they can be illuminated with one button.

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Around the home

Throw some light on the scene with 60 to 120 watt globes throughout your home. Two-way light switches are a practical idea for areas such as hallways. Earth surge and power switches are also great safety devices that no home should be without.

Freestanding telephones can be reached more easily than wall mounted phones in the event of a fall. Also, a cordless telephone may be useful if you have difficulty getting to the phone, and you can also carry it to the garden.

External and internal steps should be kept to a minimum and make sure all stairs and steps, front pathways and verandahs, have non-slip surfaces. Internal floor surfaces should be even.

Whether you have steps inside or outside your home, hand and grab rails provide support and balance. Use a hand rail beside two or more steps and a grab rail with single steps.

You can protect the house's access and entry with a porch, weather proofing or by putting an internal door after the front door. A level landing outside external doors with a minimum level ground area of 1500mm x 1500mm will allow safe opening.

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Helpful home hints

Plan for easy access in and around your home. For example, a non-slip, continuous and accessible pathway from your house to the letterbox, clothes line and garbage storage can take the worry and risk out of simple day-to-day tasks. Handrails along sloped pathways provide balance and support.

A shelf or a table by your front or back door is a good idea for resting parcels and it makes opening doors easier. A magnetic holder to latch your screen doors also helps you to get inside and outside more freely (particularly if you are carrying parcels).

  • To prevent falls, make sure floor coverings are not frayed or have loose edges - you could even take up scatter rugs or floor coverings.
  • Keep a torch in a handy place in case of a power failure, and keep a reminder close by to change the batteries.
  • Install some smoke detectors and keep a reminder in a familiar place to change the batteries.
  • Contrast strips on the edge of steps help make the height of steps more visible.
  • External surfaces should be maintained regularly - watch out for cracks in the paths or slippery surfaces such as moss.
  • Use sink plugs with large grip rings.
  • Check that doors swing easily.
  • Have a height adjustable clothes line on level ground close to the laundry.
  • Try an elevated reel for your hose - it's great for the back!

More home hints on page 2.