Universal Design is the term used to describe products, buildings and other environments that are accessible to everyone without regard to their size, age or physical abilities.
Universal Design has also been used as the basis for the Aging in Place movement which aims to allow people to live in their own homes for as long as possible. People of all abilities, whether they live in the home or are visiting, should be able to access and use the home comfortably.
As the generation of Baby Boomers moves into retirement age, many are looking to either build homes with their future in mind or remodel existing homes to accomodate their retirement needs.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) created a specific course of study for it's members that addresses how to design and build to not only address these issues but to also be beautiful too.
Here at SandStar Remodeling both our owners, Jim Sanders, Pres and Larry Sandles, VP have completed the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) certification.
When designing new homes or renovating existing homes SandStar uses a variety of products and building techniques to achieve a universally accessible home including but not limited to:
- Flat ground level entry into the building as well as for showers and access to outdoor living areas
- Wide doorways & halls
- Sufficient turning space in halls, kitchens & baths to accomodate equipment
- Lever handles on doors
- Specific task lighting and increased general lighting
- Appliances installed at proper levels
- Multi-height countertop surfaces
Manufacturers have really excelled in designing products that are beautiful as well as functional, so an "accessible" home doesn't have to look "institutional".