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How to Infuse Universal Design Into Your Home

July 21, 2017 9:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Like it or not, our physical abilities change as we age. Vision begins to blur and joints begin to ache. Once-simple tasks like taking out the garbage, emptying the dishwasher or even taking a shower can become increasingly arduous.

However, not everyone living in the same home is likely to have the same needs, especially those in multi-generational households. These are the homes that can benefit the most from “universal design.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, tall or short, healthy or hindered with a disability. Universal design can enhance comfort and convenience, enabling everyone to enjoy the same home even if — and when — their needs change.

Luckily, there are many aspects of universal design that are relatively simple to implement. Hillsborough NC Builder Collins Design-Build offers four areas in which this design concept can benefit virtually any home:

Bathrooms. Because a large portion of in-home accidents occur here, universal design can be critical.

  • Adding non-slip flooring and a grab bar in the shower can dramatically lower the risk of falls.
  • Elevating soap holders and shower ledges will reduce the need to constantly bend over.
  • Creating a barrier-free entry into the shower can make a world of difference for anyone with mobility concerns.

Kitchens. The general concept of universal design in the kitchen is to improve visibility and access.

  • Under-cabinet lights can add both functionality and beauty to a kitchen.
  • Lever-style cabinet handles are easier to grasp than knobs, especially for those who have arthritis.
  • Sliding shelves within deep floor-level cabinets significantly improve access to hard-to-reach areas, plus, they allow for a more efficient use of space.
  • Elevated, neutral-colored countertops make items easier to see, as opposed to countertops with busier patterns that can sometimes camouflage items.

Doors. For those who aren’t physically challenged, doors and doorways are not typically a concern. But for those who have mobility issues, many types of doors can be difficult — and dangerous — to navigate.

  • Pocket doors and barn doors are among the hottest design trends, and they are also much easier to open than traditional hinged doors.
  • Wider doorways and hallways can better accommodate large strollers or wheelchairs, allowing everyone to move more easily from room to room, and in and out of the house. Experts recommend 36-inch wide doors and 42-inch wide halls and stairways.

Smart Technology. Home automation is becoming a must-have feature for all new-home buyers. But it is especially advantageous for those with physical limitations.

  • Automated window blinds that can open and close with the push of a button (on the wall or from a phone) are particularly convenient for homes with hard-to-reach windows.
  • Smart appliances can be operated remotely or by voice command, providing further ease of use.
  • Motion-sensing lights can help reduce the risk of falling or tripping in a dark room while searching for a light switch, and they also help conserve electricity.
  • Remotely controlled security systems and door locks provide added levels of safety, convenience and peace of mind.
  • Smart thermostats can adjust to the home owner’s specific schedule, giving them a more convenient way of heating and cooling the home while saving on utilities.

Home building and remodeling professionals like Hillsborough NC Builder Collins Design-Build that have earned the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), designations have received training on the techniques to build or renovate homes so that the occupants can live in them safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of their age or ability level.

For more about Universal Design visit www.planningtomorrow.com

 

 

 

REALTOR Emilee Collins and Builder Chad CollinsINNOVATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE HOMES SINCE 1997

Chad & Emilee Collins

An unlimited licensed general contractor as well as a licensed home inspector, custom home builder Chad Collins transforms clients’ dreams into elegant, fashionable, timeless homes while maintaining a reputation for skilled craftsmanship, superior quality, and incomparable client service. Collins Design-Build is consistently ranked by the Triangle Business Journal as one of the top custom home builders in the Triangle.

Chad’s commitment to excellence has earned Collins Design-Build numerous top industry awards, including the National Certified Green Professional Builder of the Year. The Durham, Orange & Chatham’s Builder of the Year, and twice awarded the coveted Triangle Sales and Marketing Council’s MAME Building Company of the Year. Chad is one of fewer than 50 Accredited Master Builders in the state of North Carolina.

From the outset of his career, Chad quickly impressed others with his professionalism, integrity, and astute operations management skills. While in high school and college, Chad worked part time with home improvement retailers and building material suppliers, which opened opportunities to work for regional and national home builders throughout much of the 1990s. Chad capitalized on these experiences with local and regional builders to acquire considerable industry knowledge and to forge strong relationships.

Earlier in his career, Chad served as a team leader to local and regional production home builders, distinguishing him by developing processes, tools, and quality-driven teams that improved ROI, cut annual costs, reduced project completion time, and decreased attrition. As a result, Chad advanced to increasingly through management positions. Evidence of his talent for coaching and leading teams is that some of the team members and craftsmen he developed over a decade ago continue to work with him to this day.

Following that success, Chad was recruited by a national builder opening operations in the Triangle, and he played an important role in helping the company establish operations with a market presence in the region. His efforts in closing just under $6,000,000 in custom homes in a single year earned Chad the 2001 Builder of the Year award.

Chad has earned the highest designations available, such as Accredited Master Builder, Master Certified Green Professional, and Aging-in-Place Specialist. Among other industry recognition’s, the company has received multiple Best Green Built Home STARS Awards, Major Renovation Awards and the coveted Parade of Homes GOLD Award.

Prior to being elected as the President of the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange & Chatham Counties, serving over 600 members, Chad was nominated to a five-year term with the North Carolina Home Builders Association as regional vice president; serving the largest territory region in the nation.

Throughout his career, he has served on various boards of directors and has earned numerous top awards for membership recruitment from the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties; the North Carolina Home Builders Association; the National Association of Home Builders; the Triangle Community Coalition; and the Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce.

Chad is honored to be an approved speaker for the National Association of Home Builders Chad has written and taught several courses on green building as well as project management to fellow builders across the Southern United States. He is also an instructor for Duke University’s OLLI Continuing Education Program, serving as the Aging-in-Place Specialist.

 

For more information and how Collins Design-Build may serve you please connect with us through the following:

  • Home Building/Remodeling/Additions/ Consultations:

Collins Design-Build, Inc.   www.collinsdesignbuild.com

  • To find a lot or land / Buy or sell existing Real Estate:

Emilee Collins, REALTOR  www.collinsdesignrealty.com

  • To learn more about Aging In Place or how to make your existing home accessible:

Planning Tomorrow  www.planningtomorrow.com

  • Have your existing home painted by our award winning professionals:

Acento Painting, LLC  www.acentopainting.com

Chad direct line 919-422-2818  | Chad’s Email chad@collinsdesignbuild.com

 

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This post was written by Chad Collins

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