Universal Home Design Strategies
Though universal design – the principle of making a home universally accessible – often is considered a home improvement strategy for an aging population, it really helps everyone, including parents with young kids, frail seniors, and a teenager with a sports injury.
Though major changes — adding entry ramps or an elevator, for example – may be too expensive, you can incorporate many simple universal design elements on your own to make your home safer and more comfortable.
Here are three:
- Introduce better interior and exterior lighting, which can help everyone get around a house more safely. If lights are connected to motion detectors, no one has to fumble to find a switch. Lighting upgrades help seniors avoid tripping, they’re good for kids who get up in the middle of the night, and for houseguests who are unfamiliar with your home’s layout.
- Add non-skid bathroom flooring and rugs, lever handles (easier to operate because someone with arthritis or a sprained wrist doesn’t have to grip and twist), grab bars in the shower stall, and comfort-height (17 to 19 inches high) toilets.
- Clutter – Remove excess furniture, piles of paper, and other floor clutter, to create more space for maneuvering a room and reducing trip hazards.
- AARP (//www.aarp.org/livable-communities/info-2014/what-is-universal-design.html)
- Houzz (//www.houzz.com/ideabooks/Universal-Design)
- This Old House (//www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/put-safety-first-14-universal-design-tips)
- Universal Design Living Laboratory (udll.com)
If you’re making home upgrades to prepare your house for sale, look to Liberty Bank to help you finance your next home purchase. Learn more about your mortgage options by contacting a Liberty Bank for Savings Loan Consultant at 888.LIB.BANK or visiting libertybank.com/mortgages to check rates and find an online application.