Baby Boomers are thinking about how to make their homes as accessible as possible as they begin to face retirement age. But even younger adults benefit from building with universal design. You never know when someone in your home might hurt his back, break her foot, or need to be in a wheelchair for a time.
Universal design simply means accessible home design so that anyone with any level of disability can function and easily get around.
We all need to plan for getting older and the potential mobility and quality of life issues we may face. If you want to stay in your home as long as possible, it’s important to consider accessible design in your home’s floor plan as you make decisions with your custom home builder.
Thankfully many home builders in SC are on top of the trend to help people "age in place!"
The best thing about a custom house is that you can design it to meet your specific needs for the present and the future.
This way you can stay in your home until you need assisted living or nursing home care. You won’t have to worry about being forced to leave your dream home because of accessibility issues for yourself or a family member. And you will also have the flexibility to bring aging parents, siblings, or other loved ones into the home if you decide you want to in the future.
11 important considerations with universal design
- Think about having the master bedroom on the ground floor, if possible.
- If you absolutely don’t want the master suite on the ground floor, at least consider having a bedroom or an office or room that could be converted easily into a bedroom with an adjoining bathroom on the ground floor.
- Make doorways, hallways, and kitchen areas wide enough to be wheelchair accessible.
- Design your bathrooms to have space for a wheelchair to be able to turn around in them.
- Place light switches at a lower height that is reachable for a wheelchair user.
- Place grab bars in bathrooms to greatly reduce fall risks.
- Have a roll-in extra large roll-in shower or a wet room shower.
- Consider having a hand-held shower head either as the primary shower head or in addition to a stationary shower head.
- Limit stairs or, at least, be sure to have all of the most critical rooms on ground level.
- Allow for plenty of natural lighting to help with visibility and mood.
- Choose faucets and door knobs that don’t require twisting of the wrist or hand and that can be operated with a closed fist, if needed.
When you work with a home builder to create your dream home, it is the perfect time to design your house for accessibility. Whether it is for older adults in your family, people with disabilities who are friends or loved ones, or an injured or disabled child, it is infinitely easier to plan for accessibility during the design and building process than during a crisis.
The last thing you want to have to deal with when a loved one breaks a hip, develops significant arthritis, has a stroke, or sustains an injury, is moving. Selling your house and buying a new house takes an awful lot of time and energy. You could avoid all of that stress by already having a home that is able to accommodate anyone at any phase of life.
Perhaps you and your loved ones can avoid needing to move to a senior living facility for several additional months or years if you are well-prepared in advance.
Ready to build a new home with universal design in the Lexington, SC area?
Contact us today and let’s get started!
Our building areas include:
Blythewood, Forest Acres, downtown Columbia, Lake Murray, West Columbia, Pinewood, Lexington, Irmo, Ballentine, Chapin, and more.
Put Safety First: 14 Universal Design Tips - by This Old House
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