Remodeling Magazine has called for entries in its annual Remodeling Design Awards. These are great because they showcase the best designs from the year in a variety of categories. The awards are so diverse that there is an opportunity to enter nearly every type of design in one form or another. The categories range from whole-house remodeling and additions to basement remodeling and green building to basic kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling. This year, someone was thinking about one of the biggest growth areas when they added a new category. “Better Living/Universal Design” is the latest — it’s sort of an “Age in Place” category.
This addition truly acknowledges this niche market. Baby Boomers are coming of age and making decisions about where they want to live. It just so happens that many of them want to stay put, but this requires home modifications for age and potential physical limitations. Remodeling Magazine’s recognition of this category focuses on the use of Universal Design principles – designs that are conducive to everyone, whether disabled, elderly or young.
Like other categories, the “Better Living/Universal Design” category will be judged on architectural and design standards, with an added emphasis on functionality. Universal usability features like no-step entrances, single-floor homes, maneuverable kitchen and bathroom layout, wide doorways, and reachable switches and controls are all part of the Universal Design and Aging in Place phenomenon. We’re using these principles every day in our remodeling efforts, whether the client wants to Age in Place or simply insists on good design. We can’t wait to see the great results of this contest.