“Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat the fruit of them” Jeremiah 29:5

What You Need To Know About Universal Design

One of the great things about life is unpredictability.

The problem is, unpredictability is really hard to plan for, however, one of the things you CAN do is to prep your home to create a living environment that incorporates ease of use.

We don’t stay young forever, unfortunately, and when age becomes a factor, our homes can make moving around something closer to an obstacle course.

And it doesn’t have to be just age. You could accidently fall and break something that makes moving around much more limited. Or you might just want to be able to move a little more freely throughout your home.

When building homes, many designers don’t account for the physically disabled, and thus many people find it more difficult to maneuver through their homes in the event they need to use a wheel chair or walker. However, this does not always have to be the case.

When planning your next remodel, ask your contractor about building a home with universal design. Universal design is unique from traditional design, as it accounts for the physically disabled.

This means wider doors, no lip on the floor leading to the shower, and wider spaces between countertops.

Many of these designs are just as aesthetically pleasing as traditional ones, as many people don’t even notice the difference.

So what can you do make your home more disability friendly?

  • Garage Ramps – If your home has a connected garage, try replacing your door steps with a ramp. This allows for easy mobility of walkers and wheel chairs, without effecting the exterior look of the house.
  • Reinforce railings – Often, railings are more for looks than utility, but as we age, we tend to use them more often. Simply switching to a decorative aluminum or steel rail bolted firmly to its adjoining surface can both revitalize a tired stairwell and bare the weight of climbers.
  • Built in shower bench – A person suffering a physical disability will use a shower stool or chair. While helpful the individual, it lacks an aesthetic most desire in a bathroom. By incorporating a shower bench into your next bathroom remodel, you can have the option to sit, while not giving up anything in the looks department.
  • Multi-Level Kitchen Counters – Many people in a wheel chair have difficulty reaching 36 inch countertops. Utilizing multi-level allows children and wheel chair bound individuals access an easier surface, while also catering to able-bodied preferences. Many of these surfaces not only look great, but have even more utility than traditional counters.
  • Pull out cabinets – Whether in the kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom, pull out cabinets can make any closet more organized and easier to use, even for those who are able-bodied.

By using universal design in your remodel, you can allow for everyone, able-bodied or not, to feel more comfortable in your home.

At Quality Craftsmen, we are well trained in universal design throughout the North Atlanta area and can help you create a remodel that everyone can enjoy. Call us today!

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