Whether building, renovating or simply adding on to your home, the concept of universal design is something Jim Barber, founder of HouseWurks Custom Homes and Renovations in Zionsville, recommends incorporating into your plans. Home designs that maximize safety and security are increasingly important for seniors and their families.
Barber says universal design ensures people of all ages and ability levels can live comfortably and safely in their home.
“Our goal is to help people make their homes work for them for a lifetime, regardless of their age, income or abilities,” Barber says. “(Universal design) isn’t just for the elderly or handicapped. It accommodates all family members at all stages of life, all of whom benefit from homes that pose fewer restrictions on daily activities.”
Barber says the universal design approach incorporates safety and independence into all areas of the home. Some of his recent projects include features like universally accessible kitchen appliances, sufficiently wide doorways and hallways to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers, shower grab bars, lever operated door handles and plumbing fixtures, no-step entries into the house and motion-sense lighting.
“With universal design, you want to have a plan so that any of your friends or relatives that may have disabilities can access your house like anybody else would,” Barber says. “You want your friends and family to feel welcome to your home.”
Earlier this year, Barber obtained a Certified Aging in Place Specialist certification, a program developed by the National Association of Home Builders. HouseWurks is a member of the Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis.
For those interested in learning more about Universal Design and Aging in Place, Barber will be appearing at the Carmel Clay Public Library on September 20 at 4:00 p.m. for a presentation with Rebecca Haynes-Bordas, a retired Purdue Extension Educator who became paraplegic in 2013.
For more information on HouseWurks, or to schedule a building or renovation consultation, call 317-753-9455 or visit housewurks.com.