Whether you’re raising a young family or beginning to enjoy an empty nest, the design of your home should meet your changing needs. Families looking to customize their homes to suit their lifestyles both now and in the future can easily implement universal design techniques.
Universal design is the design of products to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design at a later point in time. Universal design enhances traditional design by incorporating elements that offer comfort, convenience and ease of use.
Multigenerational families and first-time home owners alike will appreciate the often simple and inexpensive changes that make homes livable for all household members, regardless of age or ability. Homes with universal design are more user-friendly, require lower maintenance and complement an easy-living lifestyle.
Here are five ways to implement universal design in your home:
- Widen your doorways and hallways to accommodate strollers or relatives who might use a wheelchair. Experts recommend 36-inch wide doors and 42-inch wide halls and stairways.
- Build a stepless porch entry that will increase access and convenience without compromising aesthetics.
- Install non-slip surfaces on floors and bathtubs.
- Install handrails on steps and grab bars in bathrooms to provide more support for household members of all ages.
- Use lever door handles. This easy-grip hardware allows family members and guests to more effortlessly open and close doors.
Home building, remodeling and design professionals who have earned the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation have received training on how to build or renovate a home so that the occupants can live in the home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of their age or ability level.
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