Aging in Place: Why Universal Design is the Future of Home Building

home renovation for disabilities columbus ohio

It’s a great privilege to get older. But with getting older comes some challenges: none the least being able to stay in your family home for as long as possible. 

If you’re nearing retirement or already there, you might start wondering how much longer your home will be safe for you. 

Here’s the rub: according to the National Safety Council, 53.6 percent of all injuries happen in the home. 

That’s why it’s essential to make provisions for the future and make your home safe. 

In the home renovation industry, we call this approach “renovating for universal design”, which essentially means “designing a home for everybody.” 

And design for everybody is simply good design.

What the heck is Universal Design?

Simply put, universal design in home building is “human-centered” design: focused on accessibility for everyone, no matter their abilities. 

Quoting the pioneer of universal design himself, Ronald Mace, The Universal Design Project describes this concept as: “design that’s usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” 

It makes your home safer and easier to live in – whether you’re taking a shower, making a snack, opening a door, or going down a flight of stairs. If you’re thinking that this will make your home feel “institutional” and “cold”, think again. Human-centered design does not – and should not – sacrifice beauty and aesthetics.

This is your HOME, afterall. It has to look nice.

home renovation for disabilities columbus ohio

A Quick Primer on The Principles of Universal Design in Home Renovation

According to the Centre for Universal Design, building a home with Universal design means to “integrate features that meet the needs of as many people as possible.” 

Universal Design in home building follows these 7 principles:

     1. It’s useful to people with diverse abilities. 


  1. It accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. 


  1. The design is easy to understand, regardless of the person’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level. 


  1. The design communicates necessary information effectively, regardless of conditions or the person’s sensory abilities. 


  1. The design minimizes hazards and adverse consequences or accidents. 


  1. The design can be used efficiently and comfortably while minimizing fatigue. 


  1. Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user’s body size, posture, or mobility.


As you can see, Universal Design simply means: a home that works for everyday life. A home that works for every unique body and ability, regardless of age. 

And we achieve this with beauty and style. 

The Benefits of Multigenerational Home Remodeling in Pickerington Ohio

Here in Columbus Ohio and across the country, we’re seeing more multigenerational households than ever. (Today they account for one-third of all households, and this number is growing quickly since the pandemic.) 

Because of this, more families than ever are looking to remodel their homes to accommodate a wider range of ages and abilities. 

More importantly, the goal of universal design in homes is to make the environment as user-friendly and normal as possible. Normal in the sense that the features do not scream: “look at me, I was designed to help you.” Rather, they are more subtle and come in handy when you need them. So, people do not have to be constantly reminded of their disability – everyday tasks should feel like “everyday tasks.” 

Heitmeyer Building & Design brings over 100 years of experience in home building, design, and renovation. We make sure we meet your family’s unique living needs so you end up with the most beautiful, comfortable, fitting Columbus home. 

Heitmeyer Building & Design is a Construction company with over 100 years of experience in commercial construction and residential construction located in Pickerington, Ohio.

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© 2021 Heitmeyer Building & Design, All Rights Reserved.

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