Universal Design Features Important in Today’s Home Designs


According to a recent survey of builders by Professional Builder magazine, clients are asking for universal design features when remodeling or building new homes.  While they may not identify it as universal design, these people are requesting common-sense features that make a home more livable and suit everyone’s lifestyles.  That’s why it’s called “universal.” 

In northern Virginia remodeling, we’re finding that clients mirror the national trends.  See if your remodeling wishes match the survey. 

Topping the list for bathrooms were dual vanities and enhanced plumbing fixtures.  If you have the space for two separate vanities, it’s a great idea, but most people in our region don’t have at least five feet of countertop space for each vanity.  More popular is the dual sink with a single long vanity.  As for fixtures, universal design trends apply – faucets with an easy-to-use lever instead of two separate handles, and adjustable or portable shower heads in all shapes and sizes.  

Top kitchen remodeling requests to builders, according to the survey, included energy-efficient appliances, granite or quartz countertops, kitchen islands and pantries (not walk-in).  Again, these are sensible requests from people who will live in the home every day.  Granite or quartz countertops are great for both the look and the functionality, not to mention the ease of cleaning and maintenance.  A kitchen island is an ideal way to get more counter space and to make the kitchen a more functional and spacious gathering area for the home.  This leads right to the overall living space requests in the survey — a great room, whose popularity was second only to a walk-in closet in the master bedroom.  Landing in the top 10 also were high ceilings on the first floor and a first-floor master suite, along with an overall energy-efficient home. 

If your remodeling ideas are similar to these trends, then you’re on the right track for a home that is functional for you and future owners.


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