What does that mean if you are planning on remodeling part of your home? Remodeling magazine has some interesting articles on this topic – it must mean there are a lot “boomers” out there!
There is a growing movement called “Universal Design” (UD) that studies the way we have traditionally built homes, and how those homes work for older homeowners. The term UD is meant to be inclusive of people of all ages who have mobility issues, low vision or poor balance.
Some of the features that are beneficial in home design and remodeling with UD in mind are:
- Bathroom aids like grab bars, shower seating, easy-use faucet handles and comfort height toilets.
- Non-slip floors
- Wider hallways; 4 feet is recommended, although studies show that widening hallways in an existing home can be prohibitively expensive, since the walls may be supporting the upper floor or roof joists, there is usually electrical wiring, and cabinets in hallways would have to be moved/rebuilt.
- Wider doorways; at least 3 feet wide.
- Full bath on the first floor.
- Other features, such as ramps, low countertops to allow wheelchair users to use the countertop, storage located lower.
Not every home needs to have all of the features of a UD home, but including some of the less expensive features can greatly enhance the safety and useability of the home for everyone.
Bathrooms and kitchens are the typical rooms that can benefit greatly from UD features. If you are considering including some of these features in your next remodel, give us a call, we have both training and experience in UD remodeling.