Kitchen Renovation and Visitability in the Spotlight

September has been a wonderful month for us. In addition to some exciting new projects, we were honored to have one of our kitchen renovations featured in This Old House and the Massachusetts Senate passed a visitability bill that Paul had supported with his testimony.

Here are the details:

This Old House September 2013This Old House
One of our projects was included in the September 2013 feature, "12 Color Combos that Really Cook." The article by Megan Baker focused on kitchens with two-tone color schemes.

The article used a photo from one of our Cambridge, MA renovations to illustrate a snappy cornflower blue and yellow color combination. Read the article here

Colorful kitchen renovation featured in This Old House


Visitability Bill

In May 2013, Paul testified at the Massachusetts State House on behalf of what had become known as the "Thanksgiving Bill". The bill called for the creation of a commission to study the viability of adding "visitability" design criteria to all new one- and two-family homes. We are delighted that the Senate passed the bill in early September.

Here is a synopsis of the bill from the Citizens' Housing and Planning Association.


Visitability Bill Passes Senate

Massachusetts has an old housing stock with many physical barriers that pose problems for those with limited mobility. In addition to posing significant barriers for those with limited mobility looking for permanent housing, our housing supply makes it extremely difficult for those with limited mobility to visit friends and family. Visitable homes allow people with limited mobility to avoid isolation and live an engaged lifestyle with the ability to visit friends, family, and neighbors. Eight states have adopted visitability policies that apply to new single family home construction. Senator Patricia Jehlen’s bill, S.1787, establishing a commission to study home visitability standards and make recommendations about increasing the accessibility and inclusiveness of the Commonwealth’s housing stock, has passed the Senate.


Please contact us if you have any questions or need help with a renovation.

Tags: Kitchen remodeling, visitability, kitchen colors, This Old House

Our Latest Ebook: Aging-in-Place Renovations

Aging-in-Place and visitability renovation issues have been a hot topic in our office recently. I testified at the State House in early May about visitability, we became members of the National Aging in Place Council, and we wrote an ebook about renovating to age-in-place.

Why the emphasis on aging-in-place? We certainly design and build renovations for homeowners of all ages. No matter the age of the homeowner, we feel it simply makes good sense to plan for potential future issues when renovating a home. Even if you don’t intend to grow old in your house, a major renovation is the ideal time to make your home as welcoming as possible to visitors and guests of all ages and mobility.

aging-in-place renovation ebookWhat is aging-in-place and visitability? Why should you consider such issues if you are still young? What are key aging-in-place renovation elements?

I hope you will consider reading our free ebook on Renovating to Age-in-Place to find out more. You can download it at the link below.

Please email me or call us at if you have any questions or would like to discuss a possible project.

Download Renovating to Age-in-Place

Tags: aging in place, visitability, renovation guides, renovation ebooks, Boston remodeling

Visitability for Boston Homeowners

by Paul Morse

On May 7, I had the honor to testify at the Massachusetts State House on behalf of Senate Bill S. 601 called the "Thanksgiving Bill". The bill calls for the creation of a commission to study the viability of adding "visitability" design criteria to all new one and two family homes. Here are some links to documents if you want to find out more:

Paul Morse Testimony

Thanksgiving Bill Fact Sheet

Text of Senate Bill S.601

Visitability is a hot topic in home design, construction and renovation. As the name suggests, visitability is about the ability of all people -- regardless of age or disability -- to visit and enjoy a home without having to make modifications. Visitability dovetails with aging in place. If a home is visitable, it also will seamlessly support the changing mobility of an owner as he or she ages.

Visitability is an international movement focused on integrating basic accessibility features in all new homes, but why stop at new homes? Visitability benefits all homeowners by enhancing:

  • Flexibility
    The home accommodates changing needs as the owner ages or encounters health issues

  • Hospitality
    All friends and family may easily visit the home

  • Marketability
    All potential buyers could live in the home without making modifications

At Morse Constructions, we always consider visitability issues, particularly with whole house renovations.

There are some non-negotiable features in visitable homes, including:

  • At least one zero-step entrance

  • Passage doors that are at least 32" wide

  • At least a half bath/powder room on the main floor

While the basic guidelines are strict, they do not impede beautiful, imaginative design at all. For examples of visitable design, scroll through this idea book from Houzz (click on a caption to read the full article on the Houzz website):

Contact us to find out more about visitability in Boston area homes or to discuss your project.

Tags: Boston renovation, aging in place, accessibility, visitability, Massachusetts Senate Bill S.601, MA Thanksgiving Bill