A home is not always about investment dollars, it is almost always about investment in your future and having safe and comfortable spaces in which to live and move around. That is why Granny Flats independent living is essential.
Universal Design features in your home combine barrier free living with eco and sustainable best practice. If you are needing to build, add more space or incorporate a granny flat, then some thought and consideration at the pre-concept stage can maximise independent living and secure wellbeing, quality of life and independence with a home design that complements your immediate lifestyle needs with medium to long term planning goals.
Universal Design principles assist you to meet individual and lifestyle needs of family members of any age, ability and stage in life. The use of good appearance and stylish design can support any or all of these Universal Design scenarios:
- A pregnant woman negotiating doorways and toilets, showers and the bath
- A young family with prams and pushers
- Sudden illness or injury resulting in temporary or permanent disability
- Ageing bodies that need a home in which to move around more easily when using a frame or wheelchair: it may not be you at the moment but how are your parents or grandparents, or family members or friends who visit?
The number of people worldwide living with at least one disability is increasing exponentially.
GRANNY FLATS FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING
Homes and living spaces should be designed so they can meet changing needs, and can mean staying on in the home together with or near family and enjoying a more independent and fulfilling lifestyle with more comfort and peace of mind. With a view to the present and the future, Universal Design features for your home that you should think about before making building decisions and committing yourself, are
- Pathways from the footpath or garage
- Entrance to the home
- Surfaces and widths, landing areas and shelter from the weather
- Garden beds and landscaping
- Step-free flush threshold and width of your entrance door to entry level
- Comfortable movement between spaces, level transitions and width for internal doorways and hallways
- Easy access, entry level toilet location with clear width and circulation space for toilet visits by visitors and anyone living in the home
- Slip resistant, step free, for one bathroom at least with a corner location and reinforced walls so grab rails can be installed
- Finishing items such as taps, fittings and tiles
Universal Design takes into account that changes will occur over the life of the home and lifestyle of its occupants. These principles are based on customising and attention to functional needs of individuals and families to maximise quality of life, independence and financial security.
Acceptance and application of Universal Design in homes is increasing worldwide but not to the extent where governments are taking sufficient notice and incorporating programs and strategies that would inevitably help budget bottom lines. There is a growing need to integrate housing and care needs of Australians particularly as they age.
The baby boomer era has accelerated the recognition that Universal Design spaces and products make life safer and simpler. People will remain in their homes for as long as possible where they want to be and live independently where practical. Nursing home places should be left available to those who desperately require specific high level care and support.
Perth’s Granny Flat Specialist has connections with Universal Design consultants in Perth who work with builders, building designers and contractors who can share ideas and provide guidance early in the piece on Universal Design aspects.