Move to bungalow or not?

Hi all

My wife and I live in a 3 bedroom semi-detached house and have made an offer on a bungalow, after viewing several. I was diagnosed with Parkinsons just over 12 months ago and am still fully mobile. Our motivation is to get a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and front door on the same level- preparing for a future where I expect to be less mobile. "Cons" are bungalows locally are much more expensive than semi-detached houses, many are in a bad state of repair and too small to fit our furniture etc.   Also, for the particular property we have offered on, we would have to spend money to make the long, gravel driveway wheelchair friendly.

Does anyone have experience in making the decision to move from a 2-story house to a bungalow? With hindsight what was good and what was not-so-good about the decision to move (or not move)? I would value any experience or opinion!

I'm relying on there being a cure or better meds before I get to that stage!

Failing that, getting a stair lift when and if necessary, much cheaper and easier than moving house!

Think positive! big grin

Hi aviator,

I moved from a 2nd floor apartment to one on the ground floor after I had been diagnosed. Just to make things easier later 


Hi Aviator

We moved into a cottage with an extension...a large bedroom with an en-suite wet-room.

If you have room to extend...another possibility.

Life is easier without the stress of stairs, we have room for visitors to stay and not much garden to worry about.



My Mum moved from a 3 storey house to sheltered accommodation- in a flat. It meant no stairs to worry about and when she needed to use a zimmer it was easier and everything was easier to manage.

One thing that was something I would look out for is the ability to move around and between rooms in straight lines - arranging the furniture is one way to ensure easy moving around...but some houses make it easier thatn others depending on the layout. In Mum's flat it was a bit tricky due to the layout of doors and the way they opened. She had to walk and then stop and turn and then get going again....(but still much easier than had she stayed in her house!)

Good luck with your decision making!



Several of my friends in my age went "sensibly" looking for bungalows against the time when we might be less mobile with or without a specific medical condition..  Alll of us have found that  came down to it, there was very little choice between a rabbit hutch and a substantial,, i.e. expensive  property,  on they were on estates too far away to walk to the shops..  As soon as I got my dx. I set about having an extension (undeerfloor heating) built to my semi::-  decent sized bedroom ( now an office), wet room and utility room.alll with wide doorways,,, and a small SE facing sunroom.  I always said I would want more space once I retired and II love it.   It cost an arm and a leg (incredibly deep foundations were required because of clay and surrounding  trees) so its not necessarily an investment but I've no intention of selling and count myself very lucky to have been able to afford it and stay in my nice village location.


By the way most occupational therapist say going up and down stairs is good exercise whilst you  can manage it but PWP's have a balance issue..  I'm sitting here nursing sore ribs and a huge bruise/lump on my thigh having bounced down the stairs last Thursday and the bath is getting bit difficult     so its better to make a decision sooner    than later.  You don't want to  be coping with a big change when you are already having difficulties

Good morning everyone

We moved to a bungalow while OH was still able to do most things.  It was a good move but with hind sight I wish I had known that it is expensive to get a suitable ramp if there are two steps up to the front door.  We are lucky in having space for the length of ramp needed but even so we had to have a turn on it.  We have the standard slope of one in twelve and please don`t agree to anything steeper because even this can be quite hard work as we get older.

We had a bath lift for the bath.  If you get one, look for one with a swivel seat.  At the end it was impossible for OH to sit on the seat and swing his legs in.  He preferred a bath because the water kept him warm and he enjoyed a soak, neither possible with a shower.

Outward opening doors on bathroom and loo are sensible alterations.  If you fall there you may be behind the door making it extremely difficult to get in to help you.

Love to all



Hi All

Many thanks for your responses to our question- you have given us great food for thought, based on real experiences, which we will consider when deciding on our next step.

Depending on your age and how long you gonna own. As age sets in 2 story not easy. Less stairs the better. 13 stairs to basement and 13 up to 2nd story. Will keep you in shape but when that arthritis crap happens, you gonna wish you had no stairs. If you go with a 2 story put a laundry shute in from top to bottom.

Older I get, the more I like the bungalow. Everything including laundry, freezers, pantry etc is on the main floor level. Basement contains guest bedrooms, storage and my hobby spaces so no need to go down there every day except for the hobbies. Definitely a Bungalow costs more, not only foundation, but foot per foot, you need more shingles, soffit, eaves and, of course, potentially a bigger lot.

The advantage of a Bungalow is there are no stairs to climb and as you age, this could be a factor.
A few years ago construction costs for a Bunglalow versus 2 story (both worth roughly 4000 ft of living space were $200/ft2 for the Bunglalow and $150/ft2 for the 2 story.

I’m sure the $/ft have changed since then, but the ratio of 25% less in construction cost per ft2 should roughly be the same.