If you don’t know about universal design yet, you need to know about the process of making homes more accessible to people of all ages, sizes and physical abilities. The best way to learn about Universal Design is to simply ask your Drumm Design Remodel consultant. We are Bucks and Montgomery County's leading certified Universal Design Certified Professionals (UDCP).
What is Universal Design?
Universal design has been around for decades, but ongoing initiatives for couples and families to age in place have seen this aspect of the remodeling industry grow tremendously in the past 5 years. Basically, universal design implies desigining and construction of homes or rooms that can accommodate the needs of a wide range of ages, body shapes and abilities. In other words, Universal Design provides home designs that are inviting and convenient for the broadest spectrum of homeowners.
Unlike accessible design, which is often done with a specific client's needs in mind, Universal Design is not meant to solve a specific problem. Instead, it enables anyone to use a space no matter what your abilities, age or size.
Universal Design Thinking
For most of us, who are familiar with Universal Design, the mention of Universal Design has us envisioning hospital grab bars, but at the end of the day Universal Design is simply good design that is well thought out and visually pleasing. Ideally when a remodeler utilized Universal Design strategies and techniques the end result should be very appealing to the mainstream market. Bottom line it has to look good, have aesthetic appeal or it has to blend so well that most people that people barely notice it when they visit or live in a home.
A core tenant of Universal Design is good planning from the beginning, especially for renovations. Adding a few extra feet can make a big difference, say, in the kitchen or bathroom. The basics of Universal Design include: wider hallways and, for doors with 34- or 36-inch-wide openings, plus the use of levers, rather than knobs when it comes to the selection of home hardware. And planning for additions in the future are a big part of Universal Design. For example: strategically planning for the need of an elevator in a home is something that a forward thinking remodeler can utilize in their design, even if the homeowner is not ready for one yet...planning for that elevator now will save thousands of dollars later.
Universal Design In Your Next Remodel
Many appliance and cabinet manufacturers are proactively thinking about Universal Design in their core products. Examples include little details like: lighting inside cabinets; different counter heights; tables that pull out from a kitchen island; and doors that telescope back into cabinets or slid sideways. The innovations are not only thought provoking, but are practical for anyone of any ability.
In the bath, universal design is even more in demand than ever. Examples that Drumm Design Remodel is including in our remodels include: generous showers with no-step thresholds; adding more “comfort height” toilets; positioning an electrical outlet in the vicinity of the toilets during construction to accommodate a potential upgrade to a model that incorporates a bidet or even a nightlight; and making sure that countertops and sinks are at a "comfort height" for residents. Many new Universal Design style vanities incorporate a pull out step so that anyone who needs a little more lift access the sink and faucets with ease.
Utilizing Universal Design with Drumm Design Remodel
The dynamics of our region's aging population is going to push universal design to the forefront. People want to stay in their homes long term and Universal Design enables them to do so comfortably. As Universal Design continues to beautify a home and make it more functional for anyone, what is now considered a trend will become an everyday design practice that remodelers will incorporate in all home remodels. Drumm Design Remodel is on the leading edge of Universal Design and is a NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP). So when you love your home and you want to stay in it forever...it's time to consider working with the forward thinkers at Drumm Design Remodel for a Universal Design that adds value to your home and works for people of all abilities. Call 215-699-7477 to schedule your Universal Design Consultation with Drumm Design Remodel today!