Regardless if you are planning to stay in your house until the last days of your life or you are planning to sell it, you can always benefit from doing universal design improvements. A universal design can guarantee you and your family's comfort for the coming years. Also, it can appeal to buyers who have special needs or who wish to spend their lives in a new house that they will purchase. Irrespective of your age or plan, the following can serve as your guide to a wonderful investment:
Clear your entryways
Ensure that they access paths to your entryways are clear. This includes the front and back doors, garage and others that usually create heavy traffics going to and fro those entryways. Residential real estate owners, as they think of spending their golden years inside their houses, search for an open, accessible and level floor plan. Hence, if your entryways have bumps, steps or obstacles, consider setting up a mat or a ramp.
Wider halls and doors
Every door in your house should be at least thirty-six inches wider so that cane, walker and wheelchair users can easily get in or out. This will also let multiple individuals to enter or exit rooms. In addition, your hallways must be at least forty-two inches wide to allow the same purpose. If you think there is a need to expand your hallways or doors, you can always consult a remodeling expert to know any potential structural danger that may happen.
One-Story Floor House
Easy access to all the rooms in your house is definitely a must for any homeowner. Although railings and ramps can make climbing up the stairs effortless, stairs can still pose a danger. Therefore, a one-story floor plan is mostly ideal. Also, a house must have a straight line of vision to the main door to guarantee easy access during times of distress. With this, a floor plan with so many turns and looks like a maze is not very ideal to elderly or individuals with special needs.
Accessible handles and controls
Individuals who use wheelchairs can only reach around 42-48 inches distance. This means that light switches, thermostats and controls must be installed below or at least within their reach. Likewise, electrical outlets must be put over 24 inches above the floor. In order to make everything simple, think of integrating an automation system into your house.
Twist and turn faucets as well as door knobs must be changed with soft handles for a much easier access. Also, change bathroom and kitchen wall cabinets with floor cabinets and drawers. Always consider the height of any universal design improvement that you will make in your house. Keep in mind that when installing cabinets and drawers, it must be at least 48 inches and 24 inches respectively. Ensure though that the knobs that you put in your cabinets and drawers are also easy to use.
For some homeowners, they find it hard to appraise the financial benefits that any universal design improvement can give to them. Although there are no figures available that can illustrate those benefits, research show that the baby boomer generation is actually looking for a place where they can fit in. Hence, if your house is designed to meet their needs, it will not be hard for you to have it sold in the future.