Why New Construction is Expanding into Universal Design Homes

 In Design, Interior Design

Homeowners don’t often think of universal design homes, or even know about it, until they are aging in place or someone in the family is facing an injury or an illness. However, keeping universal design in mind even before construction can help save money on major remodeling in the future. It can also provide a more convenient and functional space for your family, as well as increase your home value from the beginning. 

Independent Living for Everyone 

People often associate universal design homes with the elderly or for families that have mixed abilities. But universal design is design that ensures the safety and convenience for everyone in the household: the young, the old, and everyone in between. Most barriers and frustrations in the home are eliminated. 

When you implement universal design with new construction, you also get peace of mind that you or your family members will be able to easily live and grow in your home. Universal design homes offer many safety features like curbless showers, enhanced lighting, slip resistant tiles, grab bars, and step-free entrances. 

Designing with Purpose 

New construction offers a blank canvas that is ready for your dream design. By keeping the universal design principles in mind from the beginning, you can truly bridge together function and style from the start, versus remodeling later to accommodate a new and urgent need. One common issue when updating a home to adhere to universal design principles is creating an accessible or no-step entry. It is a lot easier to plan and engineer universal design homes with accessible entryways, than to make existing entryways wider later.

Where to Start?

Of course, we can’t see into the future; it may be difficult to plan for different health issues or abilities that have not yet limited us. However, you can still set up your home so that the space is more easily adaptable to new changes. For example, you may want to consider making rooms of equal-dimension. This will allow you to change the room’s purpose over time. Or you may want to consider adding a larger bathroom or wet room; add luxurious finishes and top-of-the-line that is luxurious now and will still be handicap accessible later. 

drawing of plans for universal design homes

Creating a universal design home can seem daunting, but it’s mostly about choosing the right details to your everyday design. For example, you may want a great outdoor space for hosting great get-togethers during the warmer seasons. Decks, patios, and balconies are all wonderful options to add to your home. You can easily apply universal design to these spaces by installing them, at most, half-inch below the interior floor level, with easy-access doors. Even choosing low-maintenance shrubs or plants for the yard helps! 

An interior designer is a perfect partner to help you make adjustments like these when considering your universal home design. We can also work with contractors and other professionals involved to keep these specific details in mind. 

Universal Design Homes Sell Better 

Lastly, universal design homes have shown to be growing in popularity among home buyers. Communities of upcoming seniors ages 55+ have been at the forefront of universal design. Think no-step showers, open floor plans, and smart-home technology; these are just a few growing trends that offer more convenience and practicality and can contribute to the easy access and usability of a universal design home. 

Universal design features in a home will likely retain its value while increase the resale value of the home. By applying these features during new construction, you ensure that form and function is seamlessly integrated into your design. WPL Interior Design can help guide you on the best way to apply universal design principles to your home, whether old or new, while staying true to your personal style. Contact us today to see how we can support your design visions and make it a reality. 

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