Check out my building blog to learn more about construction for your home or office in Austin! David L. Traut, President, CAPS Certified (512)444-0097

Universal Design and Accessibility/T-Square Company in Austin

Posted byDavid L. Traut, CAPS on Fri, Oct 07, 2022 @ 10:10 AM

Human problems must be solved using correct designs. The principles of Universal Design solve accessibility issues for the most significant number of people. Special needs children, people who have become seriously injured, people living with a debilitating disease, people with sensory limitations or intellectual limitations, and last but not least, the people who are planning to stay in their homes for as long as possible while Aging in Place all need accessible homes. The need to deal with disabilities during elder construction or modifications for special needs children empowers us to create environments wherein people can function effectively.  As our society evolves away from institutionalized care, making a home more comfortable for children, older adults, and their visitors can immediately benefit the comfort and lifestyle of the entire family. How are you planning for your future when it concerns your home?

Let's start by defining what is meant by an accessible home.  Accessible homes of Austin or anywhere else provide homeowners with a means to stay healthy, independent, and safe. They, in turn, experience a better quality of life. In these accessible homes, as a Universal Design contractor, any architectural barriers have either been removed during remodeling or were never a part of the design for increasing accessibility. The accessible home stands as the defined course for the Universal Designed home. People with disabilities can live comfortably and safely as well as fully functional individuals.

Certified Aging In Place Specialist 

  Tweet and understand this fact of life!  Accessible homes will be needed by everyone at some uncertain time, whether for ourselves, our family members, or our guests.  This defines the Aging in Place concept and its associated CAPS accreditation, a nationally registered credential offered through the NAHB.  Its function is to keep people in their homes longer and provide safety and independence to all homeowners. What is more, Universal Design segues seamlessly into Aging in Place.

Discover the Principles Of Universal Design

As in the kitchen in the above photograph, the accessible kitchen is comfortably sized for a clear five-foot turning radius to avoid backing up for an approach. Clear 30x48-inch approach areas for all work areas and appliances are a significant part of the more-open design. The final kitchen design must be tailored to the homeowner's abilities, needs, and interests.  Pull-out shelves expand workspaces at activity centers, while roll-under access is given underneath the stove, prep, and sink work areas. A higher and deeper base cabinet kick space area of 6x9 inches provides better forward wheel clearance for the wheelchair, enabling the user to get closer to the cabinet workspace.  A raised dishwasher offers more accessible access to dishes, and lowered microwaves and other appliances like ovens solve other reach distance problems making it easier to live with a disability. Open storage areas without doors to interfere with access is a better solution. Having multiple countertop heights allows everyone access to a work surface. A successfully designed kitchen isn't about cabinet style or the composition of the countertop. It is more about the ways the design can support the user's personal needs and functionality.
ADA Kitchen Cabinetry

Because everyone ages differently and has different needs and wants, a universal solution acting as a design for all is needed. The factors that constitute the Aging in Place market for all individuals are based on their genetic makeup and lifestyle, including their choices while living and their environment.  These factors have brought about the need for Universal Design. This is the design of products, services, and environments usable by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability, or situation without needing adaptation or specialized alterations. It provides the most significant safety and access for home guests or occupants and is undetectable when done well.  Since so few homes share the accessibility offered by Universal Design, to satisfy the needs of a particular household member brought about by an accident, an illness, or simply the aging process, there will always be a need for customized accessibility features.  A CAPS-accredited remodeling professional will accomplish this by producing a truly functional design. This same competent design/build home remodeling company that understands and practices Aging in Place home modifications in Austin should accomplish the work to fit the Universal Design and ensure your safety and accessibility.  Certified Aging in Place specialists is listed in Washington on the NAHB CAPS listing.

Home Accessibility Help

The concept of the accessible home has evolved beyond the basic grab bars and ramps to one in which accessibility is built into the basic design.  Universal Design makes living in a home easier for people of all ages and abilities.  Accessible design can be beautiful and functional and never needs to have any institutional appearance.  As our aging baby boomer population ages, the need for accessibility in the home is becoming ever more critical.  Our new way of viewing the basic home in our society and our antiquated architecture is giving way to a revolution in home design.  Ordinary homeowners with extraordinary challenges can partner up with CAPS design professionals, architects, and their own families to create homes to restore capabilities, independence, and grace to daily living.

Aging in Place home modifications incorporating Universal Design principles is available through T-Square Company in the Austin area. We have an A plus rating with the local BBB and have over 30 years of remodeling experience. We are additionally an accredited Aging in Place specialist offering complete aging in place services.  Each design/build situation will be customized to fit your personal needs increasing your accessibility through Universal Design. Call 512-444-0097 today to begin the accessible second chapter of your life while remaining safe and secure in your existing home. 
David L. Traut, CAPS (#1636580)
Accessible Homes Of Austin



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