We’re on a mission to make your spaces more people-friendly than ever.
Technically speaking, Universal Design refers to the design of buildings, products, and environments to make them accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability, or other factors. However, EVERYONE can benefit from Universal Design in their homes.
Why is Universal Design Important in Homes?
Families are sharing the responsibilities of home life.
Evolution of how responsibilities are carried out.
Average life expectancy continues to increase.
A typical family contains members of widely varying ages, sizes, and abilities.
We should not be forced to move because a house is not adaptable to family change.
What Does Living in Place with Universal Design Look Like?
Modernizing your home for Living in Place with Universal Design should not mean creating a clinical and cold atmosphere. Instead, it’s an inclusive approach for a better future. You can open your home to anyone and welcome them with attractive designs that WOW while gaining your own freedom to live the life you choose now, and well into the future.
Here are several of the modern conveniences that you can add to your home that make large impacts:
Whole-Home Modifications Include:
Extended hand railings past the last step both at the top and bottom of the stairs. This allows you to hold your balance while getting on or off the last step.
Entrances and decks with flush thresholds and no steps accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers.
A shorter rise on stairs is easier to climb and easier on your joints.
Enlarged landings create space for setting down bags and personal belongings while opening the door.
Hardware that can be used with your hand, elbow, or knee include lever doorknobs, push plates on doors, rocker light switches, loop handles, and touch latches.
Video doorbells allow for added security and convenience.
Interior and Exterior Motion-sense lighting
Open floor plan concepts minimize hallways and tight spaces while maximizing the line of sight.
Stacked Closets with knock-out floors can later become an elevator shaft.
Wider doorways and hallways.
Front-loading washers and dryers with front controls on raised platforms reduce bending.
Bathroom Modifications Include:
Larger curbless showers.
Adjustable hand-held showerheads.
Smart shower controls
Extra clearance around toilets and fixtures
Knee space under vanities and sinks
Extra blocking in walls for future grab bars (Grab bars can also double as towel bars).
Kitchen Modifications Include:
Touchless and single lever faucets make it easier to adjust water temperature and operatewith a single hand or elbow.
Hands-free voice-activated faucets
Larger cabinet pulls
Cabinets with adjustable and pull-down shelves, along with full-extension pull-out shelves and doors
Front or side controls on stoves allow for easy reach and lessen the risk of reaching over hot burners.
Wall ovens create knee space underneath and make transferring dishes from the oven to counter easier without lifting, reaching, or bending.
Dishwashers can be raised on platforms to reduce bending.
Multi-level kitchen countertops with open space underneath allow the cook to work while seated or for taller people to work without bending.
Induction cooktops and stoves offer a safer way to cook than electric or gas. They do not emit gas into the air, and they won’t catch objects, like dishcloths, on fire.
Drawer microwaves allow access without having to reach up above the counter or range like traditional microwaves.
A side-by-side refrigerator with pull-out shelves makes items easy to reach. An under-counter or drawer-type refrigerator can create access to taller items.
Where Should You Start to Create Your Space with Universal Design?
Lundberg Builders is more than a full-service residential contractor. We are your partner for creating the home of your dreams and your future. Our goal is to help you live in your home as long as possible. Our designers plan for both looks and practical needs. We want to ensure that your house looks amazing and that it will serve your needs well into the future. Your Universal Design starts with our Home Audit Checklist. This assessment gives us the opportunity to understand your specific needs and desires. Whether it’s new construction, a complete renovation, or remodeling a few rooms. The checklist helps to empower our design team to create a space that’s what you want today and what you need in the foreseeable future.
Lundberg Builders, Inc. and 314 Design Studio, LLC are your home design and renovation partners. Working together to create your dream space for now and the future.
This blog was written by Tyler Marold, UDPC. Residential Designer/Drafter for Lundberg Builders, Inc.
Springs here and that means more yard work for many families who are starting to plant gardens and tend to their yards. Did you know that approximately 68,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for lawn mower-related injuries each year (AAOP)? Sadly more than 9,000 of them are children under age 18.
“The overwhelming majority of these injuries result in amputations that require reattachment or reconstructive surgery,” says Rick Redett, M.D.
The majority of lawn mower-related injuries can be prevented by following a few safety guidelines and using common sense. Check out the list below for a few safety precautions you can take to prevent injuries.
Keep all children indoors while a power mower is in operation
Do not allow children under 16 to use ride-on mowers
Do not allow children under 12 to walk behind mowers
Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers
Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as twigs and stones by cleaning the lawn before mowing begins
Use a collection bag for grass clippings or a plate that covers the opening where cut grass is released
Wear protective goggles and close-toed shoes when operating a mower or when near one
Turn off the mower immediately if you see a child running toward you. Children can fall and slip into the blade, especially if the grass is wet
Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary
Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas
Make sure that blade settings (to set the wheel height or dislodge debris) are done by an adult, with the mower off and the spark plug removed or disconnected
Thunder & lightening & wind, oh my! The current forecast of a hurricane means your home and other personal property could be at risk for damage from extreme winds, rain, hail and lightning. Tropical storms, including hurricanes at any level, can cause significant damage to your home and property, from missing shingles and fence posts to collapsed roofs and walls. Knowing what to expect and being prepared for the storm can make all the difference for you and your homes safety. The tips below can help you plan ahead for the upcoming storm, as well as for the future.
Check your insurance coverage! Many people overlook this important step until after the fact. Assure that it reflects the current state of your home & consider adding flood insurance and coverage for additional living expenses in case your home is uninhabitable after a storm. Bonus Tip: Take photos or videos of the contents of each room. This will save you a major headache in case of a disaster.
Secure windows and sliding glass doors. Although not the best option, one solution is to tape your windows.. The tape isn’t going to keep an object from breaking your window if wind flings it at your house, but it should keep the glass from flying around the room if an object does hit. It’s ideal to have heavy plywood to fit your windows on hand or metal shutters installed, but these would all need to be done in advance. We recommend using 3/4 inch plywood and drilling screw holes 18 inches apart. Once a window is broken, the wind blows inside to not only wreck the interior, but also to apply upward pressure on the roof. This is why this step is so important!
Prepare and stow a hurricane emergency kit! Your kit should include bottled water (a gallon of water per person for at least 3 days is recommended), non-perishable food, a first aid kit and any medications. Don’t forget extra clothes, flashlights, a radio, extra batteries and disposable dishes. Keep these supplies in a specific spot in your home that everyone can get to quickly and easily.
Store important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policies and passports in a watertight container.
Have an established evacuation plan & family emergency plan in place. If you don’t have transportation of your own, make arrangements with friends or family members. Here is an awesome printable from FEMA to help you put together a Family Emergency Plan. Click the image to the right for the full printable.
Maintain your outdoor area. Cut tree branches to no more than four to five feet long, so they do not fall and damage power lines or your property. Empty your gutters so water can properly drain
Fill up your car’s gas tank before the storm
Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings to help keep food cold in case of a power outage.
It’s also highly recommended that you unplug all non-essential appliances and electronics
If you’re in an area that is prone to flooding buy sandbags. These can be used to line your house to protect against minor flooding.
If your home has a pool, you’ll need some additional preparation. Items around the pool, like furniture, toys, and skimmer lids should be brought inside to avoid becoming projectiles. (Some opt to throw their furniture into the pool, but doing this can actually cause damage to the pool’s finish). Turn off the gas supply at the meter and the filter pump at the breaker and store the filter indoors during the storm.
Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage can and anything else that is not tied down.
Familiarize yourself with hurricane evacuation routes in your area and where to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate. It’s always better to be prepared.
Do not use a gas oven or range to heat your house and never run a generator inside where exhaust fumes can accumulate!
If you have kids and you’ve dealt with a power outage before…you probably know the struggle. We don’t realize how much we rely on all things electric until it’s not available. Prepare a fun emergency kit now for the kiddies so you don’t drive yourself crazy being stuck in the house. Include Play-Doh, coloring books, Lego’s, puzzles, balloons and fun surprises. Here are a few more ideas for staving off cabin fever: Flashlight tag, board games, crafts (pasta necklace anyone?) freeze dance and hide and seek.
Although they are predicting that Hurricane Joaquin will stay out to sea, the forecast track is still very uncertain. Have an emergency plan in place! Taking steps now can also help preparing for a future hurricane or major storm a little less of a headache.Remember to stay tuned to your local forecast for updates and possible warnings.