Fortunately, universal design is beginning to take root in modern home design. Ron Mace, Founder and Program Director of the Center for Universal Design, give us the following definition of UD The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities. Because the principles of universal design are inclusive for people with disabilities, the application of UD in home design is appropriate and addresses many of the needs of people who wish to age in place.
This article is not your basic primer on selecting your dream home. Nor does it contain the list of items to ask your designer - these things can be found on any designers website or Google search. As important as those items are, what we are going to do here is drill-down into the design a little, bypass the fan-fare and talk about some specific concepts that will really make a difference in your life. Matching your house to your lifestyle begins with an exploration of your needs and wants.
Even though design capacity can virtually, be trained, the most effective jobs are the effect of a mix of skill and knowledge, therefore your choice in who to employ shouldnt be exclusively selected simply for their reduced rates or education. A home designer needs to be selected as due to their outstanding results of their labor.
Most home designers will have some type of discovery process that will help identify the basics for your home design. It will start with the configuration of your lot and proceed through items such as privacy requirements, work areas, outdoor spaces, etc. Although this process is critical to your project, it rarely drills down enough to transform your design into a home that will serve your needs for a lifetime. Here are two keys of good home design that must be addressed up-front: a) assessing the homeowners current needs; and, b) anticipating the future needs of people living in the home. Before you say Yeah, yeah...Ive heard this all before! lets take a closer look at what current needs entail.
Does this level of service cost more? Yes, probably. But a couple hundred dollars up front to hire a qualified designer who will accurately assess your lifestyle and evaluate your future needs, pales in comparison to leaving your design to chance. The number one secret to good home design is to avoid cutting costs at this stage of your project and find a home designer who is an expert in assessing your needs and applying the design criteria that will make your house a home for a lifetime.