Published at Tuesday, January 16th 2018. by Jill Conner in Home Design.
A universal home design is a growing concept in house planning and construction that provides for changes that can occur in living such as disability issues, aging and general accessibility for everyone. Many homes today are built with the idea that no matter who the occupant is, the living spaces within as well as outside the home, should be readily used by just about anyone. A growing number of home designers, builders and contractors are embracing this concept as the baby boomer population ages and a new wave of disabled or elderly home occupants emerge.
The area that received the most attention was the kitchen. 22 percent of respondents in the A.I.A report said the size of the kitchen is increasing in new home design and construction. The rediscovered focus on size opens up the possibility of remodeling and addition work that can be done in this popular and lucrative sector. The dominant feature requested for new kitchens are renewable materials. Almost half of the surveyed architects said that materials such as bamboo, cork and concrete are becoming increasingly popular.
There are many elements of design that go into a universal home, but several of the most important are constructed into the bathroom area, kitchen, hallways and the construction level of the home. The bathroom is perhaps one of the most important areas of the home, as it is designed to be accessible by combining within the design some handicap requirements. Wider doorways for wheelchair accessiblity, nonslip flooring, wet room style spaciousness and open shower areas are just some of the common features for a handicap bath area that can be enjoyed by all.
If you decide to use a universal home design to build your new home, you can expect your house to be worth more at the outset than another home of similar square footage and amenities, but that is not built from a universal design. The reason is that a universally designed house is more appealing to all segments of the population because of its practicality and usability for everyone. Universally designed homes are easier to sell and acrue in value more readily.
New home ideas can turn an otherwise simple home into something spectacular, such as with adding features that would have been more common in older homes, like the ceiling medallions and crown moldings. Such features add beauty and interest to what would otherwise be very bland spaces. A smart idea that uses space wisely includes maximizing every square inch available, such as in the commonly wasted space beneath a staircase, which can be altered with fitted pull out drawers. This would provide space to store outerwear, footwear, and much more!
Because lot sizes vary from large to small, setbacks may be an issue. Another factor is whether or not the site is level or has a slope. Sloped sites are quite workable but present unique challenges that must be considered. Generally on sloped lots the hangars are placed on the lower section and the home on the higher section which allows the home and hangar to blend with one another nicely.