Hudson Remodeling News

Remodeling with universal design in mind

Posted 5 December 2012 by Team Hudson

Photo courtesy of Delta Faucets

Have you heard the terms ” aging in place” or “universal design”?  These words are often used to describe building and remodeling projects that are visually appealing and usable by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life. This means homes are designed or renovated in a manner that allows able-bodied, disabled, youth and the elderly to comfortable use living spaces.  The spaces work for long-term living needs as well as short-term situations like recovering from an injury or surgery.

Planning ahead can allow people of all ages to stay in their own home as long as possible. Here are a few tips to consider if you or a loved one are considering modifying a home to incorporate universal design features:

Aging in Place/Universal Design Tips:

  • Install bath and shower grab bars.  When properly installed, grab bars are effective in helping prevent slips and falls. Typically, they are the first item people turn to when looking to improve bathroom safety.
  • Replace a traditional tub with a walk-in shower unit.  Wonderful step-free shower units can be created in the same space currently used for a bathtub.  Walk-in showers can be installed as prefabricated units or as a custom project using materials like tile and glass.
  • Consider remodeling to add a ground floor master suite.  This type of remodel not only allows seniors to stay in their own home as long as possible, it can also help those recovering from injury or illness.
  • In the kitchen, relocate (or raise) the level of your dishwasher to make loading/unloading easier; install pull-out shelves in lower cabinets for easier access.
  • Change hardware throughout the house; using levers or “D” pulls can make it easier for all abilities to open and close doors and cabinets.
  • Install handrails along interior and exterior staircases; make sure those areas are well lit as well.

As a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, Charlie Hudson of Hudson Remodeling can help Whatcom County residents modify their homes to improve safety and long-term comfort.  Feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.