When planning a building or remodeling project, it makes (dollars &) sense to incorporate ageless design. Staying in your home longer with the possibility of hosting multiple generations means it’s best to plan for the long-term. Neuse Tile is a member of the HBA’s C.A.R.E. Council, and offers these ageless design ideas to consider in your next project:
1. Innovative Beauty
- Curbless showers remove the barrier of a step, and seats and hand-held sprayers are convenient for everyone;
- Cabinets of varying heights with disappearing doors and lower drawers provide roll-up and easy access;
- Front-controlled kitchen appliances and a front- loading washer/ dryer are convenient for everyone;
- Pre-wiring your space for the latest in communication and safety equipment make future adaptations easy.
2. Accessible visitability
- Odds are that someone you know already has mobility challenges. Can they easily visit your home? Would a broken hip keep you or your parents confined to one room in your house? How would someone in a wheelchair gain access?
- Incorporate a no-step entrance; wider doorways; non-slip, durable floors;
- Add enhanced lighting at entry points.
3. Adaptable design
- Open floor plans make wheelchair access possible;
- Increasing standard interior doorways to 36”;
- Add a transfer space in the toilet area to open up future access;
- Include pull-out shelves and adjustable closet racks;
- Put levers rather than knobs on faucets and fixtures;
- Make light fixtures and outlets easy to reach from a seated position.
4. Future savings
- Ageless features might add 5% upfront cost now, but could mean a 35-40% savings per item if you have to retrofit later. (Dropping joists, moving doorframes, installing elevators, and re-configuring entrances are costly retrofits; but they only require a little extra planning and effort to accomplish during original design.)
- Any extra cash outlay now can be offset by current earnings. Retrofitting as you age means your expenses will be incurred when you are not in your earning years.
- Many who suffer long-term injuries and haven’t done advanced planning are forced to sell their current homes and leave established neighborhoods to find appropriate accommodations.
5. Re-sale that works
- The demand for accessible homes far outweighs the supply in our area, so your marketability increases greatly when you incorporate universal design features.
- 42 % of those over 65 have mobility limitations, and 19 % of 16-24 year olds are disabled in some way. High-rising front steps and narrow doorways represent barriers in their search for a new home.
- By 2035 when 20% of our population will be over 65 years of age, the demand for accessible homes will be even greater.
The CARE Council members of the HBA of Raleigh-Wake County are industry leaders who focus on using universal design principles to enhance the livability of your home. Council members can help maximize your investment by including ageless features and guiding you through the building, remodeling, or home purchasing process. Visit the resource links at www.HBAcare.com.