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Low Maintenance Home Ideas for an Easy to Clean Home

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If you hate unnecessary cleaning and dream of a low maintenance home, these low maintenance home ideas will make your house easy to clean.

Do you HATE cleaning? Do you ever wonder if there could be a BETTER WAY!? I often think that SURELY someone who has never cleaned a home in their life designed homes… and somehow those techniques and methods just stuck. I’ve been compiling a list of ideas for a low maintenance house design. We are dreaming about a home addition or building a home from scratch, but I think many of these ideas could be installed in pre-existing homes.

I know some of these are going to be out of budget for most of us, or impossible to do without a new home build. But many are feasible and I am EXCITED about that… because that means I can start making my home easier to clean and manage TODAY. I woke up at 2am last night with plans and ordered supplies… haha. So keep an eye out in the next few weeks for new blog posts.

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these ideas… and if you hate or love them. Leave a comment at the end of this post!

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Please read the whole post so you don’t miss any important information!

Low Maintenance Home Ideas

Low Maintenance Floor Plan Ideas & Structural Decisions

  • Insulated interior walls: some homes are only insulated on the exterior walls, but interior wall insulation offers benefits for heating and cooling.
  • Wide doorways in case someone is ever in a wheelchair. This is convenient for moving furniture as well. This is also less ‘wall’ to build so perhaps it could be financially beneficial, particularly for spaces where you don’t need a door.
Low maintenance home ideas: Wide doorways make sure your home is wheelchair accessible and easy to move furniture into and out of.
  • Dumbwaiter: These are small lifts inside the wall that can carry small items up and down between levels of the home. Think of it like an elevator for your stuff. Originally they were operated by hand, but now they also send electronic versions. I think I’d prefer one of these that was the size of a laundry basket over a laundry chute.
  • Laundry Chute: Similar to a dumbwaiter but they only work one way… down. You can send your dirty laundry down the chute into the laundry room. The downside? Inevitably, some child decides to use it as a slide or tosses something gross down it.
  • Whole House Vacuum System (Central Vacuum): I’m seeing these sold for under $1000 and it seems like the internet verdict is that cost less than $5000 total at most to install.
Low maintenance home ideas: a central vacuum system makes cleaning your home a breeze!
  • No step downs or step ups on each level: We have a random step down into our living room and it’s a GIANT pain. Not only is it a tripping and fall hazard, but it means we’d need a separate robot vacuum for that room.
  • Outlets with USB ports, at least in areas where people may need to charge phones and other devices.
Low maintenance home ideas: A dumbwaiter and laundry chute helps you manage tasks between floors more easily.

Low Maintenance Roof

  • Metal roofing: metal roofing has a longer lifespan than a traditional shingle roof, although the price tag matches that.
  • Add solar panels to your roof and the panels provide some protection (when correctly installed) for the roof.
Low maintenance home ideas: Solar panels lower electric costs, and reduce the wear and tear on your roof to extend its life.

Low Maintenance Heating, Cooling, Etc.

  • Comfort Zone HVAC
  • Radiant floor heating (I’ll talk more about this under flooring)
  • UV Lights in the HVAC System: This prevents contaminants and build up in your HVAC, improving heat exchange, airflow, and air quality.

Low Maintenance Windows and Doors

  • No thresholds on doors.
  • Windows that fold in for easy cleaning.
  • Windows and doors that use interior blinds to prevent needing to clean blinds or curtains.
  • Alternatively, or exterior covers to block light vs. using blinds or curtains which are a pita to clean. Curtains > blinds to clean.
  • If neither of the above are an option, curtains are easier than blinds to clean. Find a good rod that makes it easy to get the curtains off and on regularly.
  • Window awnings on the exterior can protect the windows from hail and the elements, and provide a bit of extra shade. Essentially they block direct sunlight (aka the glare) without completely blocking the natural light. These are particularly helpful to make homes more energy efficient when placed on windows that face west or south.
Low maintenance home ideas: window awnings allow natural light in but reduce glare.

Low Maintenance Pet Friendly Features

  • Built-In Hidden Baby/Pet Gates, such as hidden doors
  • Storm door doggy door from the mudroom to a fenced dog run. The dog run should have a gate between it and the larger yard. This keeps the dog poo mostly contained to one area, but you still can let your dog come out with you in the bigger yard.
  • Mudroom Dog Bath
  • Floor level Water faucet that is over the dog bowl
  • Catio
  • Exterior spigot dog auto fill water bowl: $40 attachment to your faucet, but unfortunately it might not work in freezing weather.
Low maintenance home ideas: doggy doors allow dogs to use the bathroom when they need to. No more accidents!

Low Maintenance Mudroom & Laundry Room

Low maintenance home ideas: A large pantry with outlets keeps small appliance clutter off your kitchen counters and gives you plenty of storage space.

Low Maintenance Kitchen

  • All base cabinets should have drawers. This is because the base cabinets are much deeper than wall cabinets, and this prevents you from needing to lean down to fish around in the back of a deep shelf. Also, it’s probably cheaper to buy the cabinets with drawers to begin with than to buy drawer inserts later on.
  • Raised dishwasher so you don’t need to lean down to fill it.
  • Drawer dishwashers: This double drawer dishwasher allows you to run small loads in one drawer while the other can be available for dirty dishes.
  • Foot pedal operated kitchen sink: These are pricey at around $800-1300, but they look relatively simple to install.
  • Stove faucet to fill pots: Only $100-200 for the faucet, but I’m sure the additional plumbing might be tricky and cost more, depending on where your other plumbing is location. Our stove backs to the mudroom though and there’s plumbing on that wall so I’m curious how easy it would be to figure out.
  • An Airbnb that we stayed at had a newer dishwasher that had some neat features… it had a water alert for leaks. It also had a detergent dispenser so you don’t need to refill the soap every wash.
  • Under-Counter Kitchen Central Vacuum: This is oddly affordable (under $200) which is less than the separate units that you can buy and plug into a wall. It doesn’t look too bad to install either. Huh.
  • All storage, ie. kitchen cabinets, go all the way to the ceiling so there’s no place for dust to gather.
  • Slab front cabinets like these are easy to wipe down as they don’t have intricate trim with nooks and crannies for dirt and dust to gather. But I don’t think they’re as easy to find in store.
Low maintenance home ideas: Slab cabinet fronts are easier to wipe down than cabinets with fancy trim.
  • Integrated/undermount kitchen sink: These have fewer seams to clean.
  • Use larger tiles or use stone slabs/full sheet metal in lieu of tiles/grout for backsplash
  • Large slabs for countertops of quartz, corian, laminate, granite, or concrete
  • Hidden trash/recycling bins in kitchen
Low maintenance home ideas: an above the oven water faucet makes filling pots easier... no more splashing water everywhere carrying the pot from the sink!

Low Maintenance Pantry and Kitchen Storage Spaces

  • Large pantry with drawers and countertops to use for appliances.
  • A small access door (tiny one) for transferring groceries from the garage/car to the pantry without trekking through the house.
  • The pantry MUST HAVE PLUGS! Lots of plugs!
  • A butler’s pantry is a place for brooms and mops, etc. We would LOVE to have that extra storage. I’m not sure why the person who built our home didn’t think it needed ANY STORAGE SPACE AT ALL, but it’s really irritating to have to store our vacuum in the wide open.

Low Maintenance Bathrooms

  • Wall mounted toilets/sink/faucets: easier to clean all sides of the fixtures and mop under them.
  • Again- Larger tiles or stone slabs/full sheet metal can be used in lieu of tiles/grout. Dark grout hides more than white grout (downside, it hides more than white grout).
  • No curb for the shower. This makes it wheelchair accessible (assuming the size/door size work), no tripping hazard, and no
  • As an alternative, you can also do concrete shower walls or back painted glass. Apparently back painted glass is easier to wipe down than traditional glass and doesn’t allow as much dirt and grime to collect on it.
  • Doorless shower: no glass doors or shower curtain to clean
  • Instead of center drain, place a long drain along inside wall and slope floor so water drains into the drain.
  • Wet Room: These are bathrooms (or other spaces) where there is a drain in the floor and water is intended to drain to the middle. This allows you to spray down the space. Probably don’t want to do that in every room of the house or you’ll end up on the FBIs watch list.
Low maintenance home ideas: wall mounted toilets are way easier to clean around!

Low Maintenance Living/Family Room

  • Built in storage that has closing doors for items you want hidden, and glass doors for things you want on display but that you don’t want collecting dust.
  • Cubby behind the TV to hold items like the cable box, etc.
  • Furniture that is off the ground so the vacuum (or robo vacuum) can go under it. I also found stick on wheels that you can put on appliances and furniture to make them easy to move when you want to clean under them.

Low Maintenance Flooring

These flooring options are really dependent on the space, your use, and your desires. I’ve heard mixed reviews about concrete and epoxy floors- as in, they’re hard to fix up after they have wear and tear as you don’t want to be using those materials while you’re living in the space. They’re also hard on your feet if you prefer to be barefoot in your home. But some people love them.

  • Epoxy floors
    • These are probably best in the garage and storage spaces.
  • Stained Concrete floors: Easily cleaned, nothing can penetrate it to cause stains.
  • Radiant heating under floors: radiant floor heating is supposed to be more energy efficient than other traditional ways to heat flooring. Your flooring choices will impact HOW efficient they are. Radiant floor heating can prevent cold spots in the home, they are easy to run, easy to install (even in pre-existing homes), and they’re low maintenance.
  • Carpet tiles are a good option that will allow you to pick up one piece to wash/replace if there’s a spill. You could also just use washable rugs such as a Ruggable rug over hardwood, concrete, laminate or epoxy floors.
Low maintenance home ideas: skip carpet and install radiant heating under the floors. It's efficient and you get warm feet.

Low Maintenance Furniture

Low maintenance home ideas: Buy raised furniture so it's easier to vacuum underneath!

Low Maintenance Lighting

  • Avoid intricate chandeliers.
  • Enclosed recessed lighting provides plenty of light without as much to dust.
  • Dimmable bathroom lighting… this is the room where dimmable lighting would be SO NICE, particularly for 2am bathroom trips. You can recreate this WITHOUT renovating. Just purchase smart bulbs like these, and adjust the settings for different times of day. It’s a LITTLE tricky to setup and I think, if you turn the light switch off, that the bulbs disconnect. But it technically can work.

Low Maintenance Home Exterior

  • Multiple locations with exterior spigots that are frost free spigots
  • Robot lawn mower
  • Vinyl siding or metal siding
  • Metal roofing
Low maintenance home ideas: metal roofing lasts longer than shingles. That's one less major expense that you need to plan for.

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If you hate unnecessary cleaning and dream of a low maintenance home, these low maintenance home ideas will make your house easy to clean.

Sharing is caring!