What is Universal Design?
“Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” (Ron Mace, of the Center for Universal Design)
Why should I consider Universal Design for my home construction or remodel?
A family’s changing lifestyle is an important factor in creating a design for a lifetime. AARP statistics show that 60% of American baby-boomers would like to stay in their homes as they age. However, many homes do not have the features to support this transition. Universal design features will make your home easier to live in, more convenient, and ultimately give you better resale value for your home.
Finally, one out of three people in America will have a disability in their lifetime. Everything from a broken leg to arthritis can temporarily or permanently change how a person lives in their home. Universal design features allow for all of life’s contingencies.
Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS)
“CAPS professionals have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically pleasing, barrier-free living environments. The CAPS program goes beyond design to address the codes and standards, common remodeling projects and their costs, product ideas and resources needed to provide comprehensive and practical aging-in-place solutions.” (AARP, 2007) For a complete list of CAPS certified builders click here.
Why not build a home you can live in for a lifetime?
Every year millions of Americans build a new home. But most people who build new homes give very little thought to how their home will adapt to their needs as they age. Here is a list of things you will want to ask yourself and discuss with your builder.
Do you have friends or family that are physically challenged who may visit you?
Do you have other people living with you? If not now, will you in the future?
Will there be an assist animal living with you? Are there any special requirements needed for this animal?
List the equipment that you will be using, such as strollers, exercise machines, health equipment, etc.
Do you desire to be close to community amenities – public transportation, hospitals, etc.?
Do you desire main floor bath, bedroom or utility access?
Kitchen & Bath
Laundry & Closets
Do you want the convenience and beauty of lever handles?
Have you thought about task lighting?
Have you considered windows that can be operated within easy reach?
Is an air conditioner required?
Is an air purifier required?
Have you considered a Green Built™ home or products?
Which rooms and locations require outlets for phone, TV and other communication?
Have you considered intercoms or voice activated devices?