Should you sell the house and move, or stay and remodel?
Consider the Universal Design / Remaining-in-Place Approach to Help you Decide
Universal design, also known as design for all, aging in place, and remaining in place, is a design approach that ensures home environments will be safe, accessible, and comfortable for everyone, regardless of age, size, or ability.
Remaining in Place:
- Ensures that elders can access rooms, use kitchen counters, and navigate bathrooms with ease and comfort.
- Creates safe spaces for young children, highly functional privacy for teens, and reachable work areas for those with limited mobility.
- Designs and builds flexibility into your home, whether your family is growing or you finally have the house to yourselves.
For LEFF, remaining in place always means design that is functional and beautiful. The functionality of universal design must also be warm, welcoming, and aesthetically pleasing.
Any life stage is a good time to incorporate the principals of remaining in place with design that accommodates needs at every age.
Questions to ask if you are trying to decide whether to sell and move or remain in your home and remodel:
- Do you have a multi-generational family living together under one roof?
- Elderly parents, toddlers, and teens all have similar needs, from accessibility to safety.
- Do you love your current neighborhood? Does it have safe, walkable areas to shopping, schools, or parks? Are you happy there, but your home does not fit your family’s needs?
- It’s much easier to change your home than it is to change your neighborhood.
- Remaining in place is a holistic approach that takes not only your home, but also your neighborhood and lifestyle into consideration.
- Are you or other family members over age 55 (or will be soon)?
- Nearly 90% of people over age 65 want to remain in place for as long as possible.
- Is anyone in your home having problems accessing the:
- Entryway, family room, or other levels of the house?
- Bathroom tub, shower, or sinks?
- Kitchen counters or stove?
Next steps you can take to determine if remaining in place will work for your family:
Walk through your home. Using principles of universal design, you can evaluate your existing environment and discover which areas could benefit from this approach.
- Equitable Use
- The design is useful to people with diverse ages, needs, and abilities.
- Flexibility in Use
- The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
- Simple and Intuitive Use
- It’s easy to understand how to use the design regardless of age, knowledge, language, or concentration level.
- Perceptible Information
- The design communicates effectively to the user, regardless of the user’s sensory abilities (blindness, for example).
- Tolerance for Error
- Hazards are minimized by the design.
- Low Physical Effort
- The space can be used efficiently and comfortably, with minimum fatigue.
- Size and Space for Approach and Use
- The space provides plenty of room for approach, reach, and usability, regardless of the user’s body size, posture, or mobility (wheelchair access, counter heights).
Questions? Need more information?
We have 39 years of experience integrating sustainable design that enables families to live in their homes for generations. Give us a call at (707) 823-4899 or email us to talk about how we can help you and your family remain in place.