One of the biggest disincentives to purchasing a particular home is its lack of specific features needed by the potential homebuyer for his family. Incorporating universal design into the home often eliminates this issue while enhancing the home’s functionality for all of its residents.
Universal designs are geared to enable individuals of all ages and physical abilities to use the home with simplicity and ease. Incorporating features that meet the needs of all of the people residing in the home regardless of their age or mobility, enhancing everyone’s current lifestyle while ensuring that their needs are met.
Although using universal designs in the home will include some medically-oriented solutions, this does not mean that these solutions won’t apply to everyone in the household. You are also looking to incorporate features in the home that make it easier for children and young adults to turn on lights, use bathing facilities, and complete other common household tasks.
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Universal design is smart future planning. Even when I have clients in their 50’s building a new home, I recommend adding blocking in the shower walls to accommodate hand rails, wider doors and hallways, and zero-threshold showers. It isn’t something they need today, but by anticipating their future needs, we are able to create a home for them that will keep them independent and in their homes for a long time to come.
Many of today’s home features can easily take advantage of universal designs that eliminate the need for modification in the future while enhancing your long-term investment in the property. Adding home features with a universal design maximizes the value of your home in two distinctive ways. First, these modifications are typically upgrades to existing features, so they add value to the property. Secondly, your modifications make it possible to accommodate individuals with varying needs, enlarging the pool of potential buyers for your home if you decide to sell.
Not only can you enhance the usability of your home, but you can also maximize safety and accessibility for individuals who live there simply by incorporating a few changes with universal design in mind. Not only will your home meet your family’s needs now, but it will also continue to meet any that they have in the future. Using universal designs in any home improvements that you make blends everyone’s needs together, enhancing the functionality, accessibility, and design of the home.
Universal designs for the home that enhance its future value:

  • Larger exterior doorways
  • Larger interior doorways
  • Zero threshold entries
  • Sloped walkways
  • Universal bathing systems that accommodate individuals of all ages and physical capacities including no-entry or zero threshold showers, handheld shower heads, and support bars. Also, many manufacturers have attractive wall-mounted, fold down seats, which are great to have since they don’t take up any space when not in use.  And, of course, don’t forget non-slip surfaces.
  • Touch-sensitive technology products including faucets, wireless lighting switches and volume controls
  • Enlarged touch panels instead of small switches and knobs
  • Levers for faucets and doors instead of knobs

Universal designs incorporate specific aspects into common features of the home to make it easier for everyone to live there, while also making use of attractive styling to enhance the home’s appearance. Once you move into your home, you can incorporate universal design into its existing structure to enhance its functionality for everyone living there.
Summary: Incorporating universal design into your home ensures its functionality for residents of all ages. With a few simple changes to doorways, bathing facilities, and wall switches, you can create a home that is more inviting and safe for all individuals who live there.
Ask Majestic about universal design considerations in your kitchen or bath.