Universal Design refers to something being designed in a way that anyone can easily use it … whether it is a home, a product or an environment.
In terms of a home, Universal Design can help create an environment that increases the usability of the home by everyone, regardless of age or ability. This is true for people with average abilities, people who have specific physical needs, even families with children or older adults who are aging in place … all people, all lifestyles, all needs.
The best part is that Universal Design is used to create rooms in your home that are beautiful, yet have the hidden benefit of being easily used by all. Essentially, it focuses on the functionality you experience, but don’t see.
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Universal Design remodeling
Do you have a family member with specific physical needs? If so, your home could be made to work for them, such as creating barrier-free bathrooms or a no-step entry to the house. This includes your home working in conjunction with any special tools or technology they use daily, such as a wheelchair. This means that their needs can be met, but your home doesn’t need to look like it was adapted to work for them … features that won’t be obvious they were created for someone with a special need.
Are you concerned that an older parent’s home isn’t setup to allow them to do what they need to do every day? Or, maybe you’re afraid for their safety, because things are difficult to reach or they have troubles getting in and out of the tub. Incorporating Universal Design into their home (or an in-law suite), ensures their kitchen, bedroom and other areas of the home can help them accomplish their daily activities more safely, as well as help them improve their quality of life.
Perhaps you’re looking to your own future and want to make sure your home is ready for the changes that life might throw at you. If you remodel your home using these principles, you can help ensure your home will be able to support your lifestyle and still be a joy to live in.
›› Call (513) 677-0196 to talk to a Universal Design professional
Examples & ideas
Universal Design can be used when remodeling your home (or, building a new one) to create beautiful and functional rooms that suit your lifestyle. Here are some common examples features using Universal design principles:
- No-step home entries
- Wider doorways and hallways
- Zero threshold showers in bathrooms
- Lever faucet handles
- Outlets and switches place more conveniently on the wall
- Rocker light switches
- Multi-height counters
- Automatic lighting
- Sinks, counters and stove tops that can be used with a chair
- Surfaces that are easy to clean
- Move, raise or lower appliances for better access in laundry rooms
- Pull-down or pull-out shelves
- Maximize natural light
- Reconfigure or re-position storage areas
- Shower seats
- Multi-head and/or hand-held shower head
- Lever door handles and D shaped cabinet hardware
These and many others can be put into a home, will help everyone enjoy it more and be done to maintain the resale value.
DeVol Design.Build.Remodel has years of experience providing custom remodeling that uses universal design to create homes that are easy-to-use and enjoyable for everyone. We can help you create the home that works for you now … and, in the future.