Even if you begin with just one or two changes to your living space, incorporating Universal Design concepts into your remodeling projects can make life easier and more enjoyable. Getting started is similar to any major home project.
• Budgeting: you will need to budget both time and money. Some projects may require spending time outside of the home. Make sure you have a place to stay and anticipate the construction may take a little longer than originally planned.
• When evaluating quotes, remember to consider expertise and customer service over price. Home design should be very personal and new features should be added in such a way that they blend with the home, not detract from resale value. Look into reverse mortgage plans if money is tight but the modifications will improve the quality of life in the home for a substantial amount of time.
• Hiring: Make sure the contractor you hire is properly insured, licensed and reputable. Find out how long the company has been in business and if it has successfully worked with accessibility issues and can provide the best lifestyle solutions. Ask for the phone numbers of previous customers and speak with them. See if you can view pictures or even visit homes to see the quality of the contractor’s work.
• Health: For those with health issues, even small projects may adversely impact your health because of sawdust, drywall residue, refinishing chemicals and even stress. Be sure all construction debris is completely removed and heating ducts and vents are cleared before you return to the home.
• Downsizing: often times when you contemplate a remodel, changes in physical layout and personal requirements may require downsizing possessions and reevaluating the suitability of your furnishings. It is helpful to start early and eliminate items through donation and Estate Sale before construction begins.
Whether you are able-bodied, experiencing loss of mobility or disabled, Universal Design concepts create a safe and comfortable lifetime home for just about anyone.