Universal Design: What It Is and Why I Became Certified

Universal Design: What It Is and Why I Became Certified

Living through a global pandemic, all of us are spending significantly more time in our homes. We are getting intimately familiar with every single nook and cranny, and are beginning to truly understand the true value of home, especially a well-designed one. In fact, the design of your home is a key factor in making it not only warm and comforting but safe, too—both during and after COVID-19. 

And let’s face it…. the world is shifting with the average life expectancy continuing to increase and families sharing the responsibilities of home life with many homes becoming multi-generational. Studies done by AARP recognizes that people prefer to stay in their homes. This is where Universal Design steps in. Leveraging concepts in Universal Remodeling, you can make your home safe, inviting, and accessible for all residents without sacrificing design.


An Introduction to Universal Design

Universal Design-Style Kitchen via HGTV

If you haven’t yet heard of Universal Design, it is essentially the concept that all homes should be easily accessible and usable for all members of the family. This is regardless of their age, size, or physical abilities. Moreover, Universal Design ensures that the home accommodates its residents throughout their lifespans. 

Universal Design has seven principles for designers and remodelers to incorporate into their design so that every product and building can be used to the greatest extent possible regardless of age, size or physical abilities and that will last throughout their life span. These design elements are virtually invisible and include simple things like levers on faucets for ease of use and blocking in the wall for grab bars in bathrooms that may be needed in the future. A UDCP (Universal Design Certified Professional) understands the detail of what needs to be done during the renovation process to ensure the occupants have what is necessary to make their lives comfortable, safe and stylish for many years to come.

The Benefits of Working with a Universal Design Certified Professional 

Obtaining the UDCP accreditation with The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) was super important to me because my goal from day one when I started my business was to elevate the lives of the people I was working with by providing thoughtful, transparent and accessible design. Using the knowledge gained and tested on universal design principles in remodeling I am able to help guide homeowners on remodeling decisions in electrical applications to include but not limited to the proper placement of electrical devices, incorporating smart technology and balancing light levels. In plumbing, I am able to assist in proper placement of fixtures, design barrier free bathrooms, follow kitchen guidelines to ensure multi-generational functionality that will aid in ease of use. I learned universal design construction techniques to be used in every room of the house with specialization in installations and requirements for safety. And I am able to do all of this without it being apparent!  

Universal Design can also go a long way in increasing the market appeal of your home. Should you decide to move, incorporating Universal Design elements into your home can potentially increase its market value. The main benefits, however, center on a more pleasant living experience in your home.  

Becoming a Universal Design Certfied Professional, I am confident that I can help you leverage the benefits of Universal Design in your home. A UDCP is recognized by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry as “an experienced remodeler who is skilled in all aspects of universal design and remodeling.” 

Integrating Universal Design in Our Homes

As we are living through this global pandemic, most of us have quickly appreciated the value of our homes. Not only do we want our homes to be comfortable for everyone living with us but we want the experience to be enjoyable, safe and healthy . 

Universal Design can accomplish all of these goals. Leveraging the seven principles of Universal Design the benefits gained are real and life lasting. 

Featured bathroom image: An example of universal design, this bathroom provides occupants the flexibility to easily use every feature available via NKBA ProRemodeler

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