Universal Design – Part One

People age. It is one of the unavoidable facts of life. Every day, we get older. As we age, our needs change. An older person requires different amenities for living a comfortable life than a younger person does, and that is regardless of health. People with chronic or frequent illnesses can be young or old, and they all have different needs.

As the needs of a home’s residents diversify, it can become increasingly difficult and expensive to provide comfortable living environments for everyone in the home. At this point, other options must be considered and they are not cheap. Whether renovations are required, new healthcare equipment, or simply moving, these are expenses that we would all prefer to avoid. Universal design has been an increasingly popular choice when building or renovating a home. Universal design makes a home easier and safer for everyone to live in, regardless of health, age, or mobility.

With an increase in demand, more contractors are offering universal design options, and there are a number of different designs to consider when designing age-in-place modifications. One of the first steps in providing a safe home is to remove any obstacles in the home. Think about all of the different walkways in your home. How many of them naturally have impediments for people who require assistance, such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair? The slopes from the car to the home should be manageable and ramps should be used in place of stairs. Ramps are easily added to an existing home, and even easier when building a new home.

Doorways should be wide enough to provide clearance for any reasonably sized mobility aid, and there should be a clear pathway to the door. If there are obstructions that decrease the clearance space, then larger doorways will be relatively ineffective. Placing benches outside of exterior doors does not even require contractors or blueprints. These benches provide a space to place groceries when opening the door, or simply a place to sit when needed and can be purchased at any hardware store.

These options barely scratch the surface of universal design concepts that can be put in place by skilled contractors. Division 9 is a contractor group located in thirteen states that specializes in stressing integrity, quality, and teamwork in all of their projects. The experts at Division 9 are professionally trained to bring your universal design dreams to life. For more information and universal design ideas, please visit www.division9inc.com.