Just posted our first Lifetime Home Survey revision for 2013.
Among the changes since Ocorber’s last quarterly update, we discovered carpet tiles by FLOR, which can be used on the floor, walls or ceiling (e.g. soundproofing). FLOR is neat for a few reasons aside from its array of colors and being made from recycled content. The flexible carpet squares adhere to one another instead of the surface so you can easily replace just one if necessary. The product is also universally designed for multiple applications, tightly woven to promote stability by the very young or anyone with balance or mobility challenges. FLOR is an adaptable alternative for those who don’t want hardwood, ceramic or vinyl flooring.
See this innovative product among many other universally designed applications and features at LifetimeHomeSurvey.com, and please share with those you care about. Lifetime homes serve you, not the other way around.
I learn best by breaking down the complex into smaller parts so I decided to teach Universal Design on our Twitter page by posting daily UD tips (i.e. limited to 144 characters for those who don’t tweet). Follow us by clicking here or the graphic to the right>>>>>>
I don’t want you to miss if you aren’t on Twitter so I’m pasting below the tips I’ve tweeted so far and will try to remember to provide here every so often.
- Every owner and renter should learn about Universal Design because UD makes home life easier and more flexible.
- Universally designed homes are naturally multigenerational/flexible (e.g. people of any age or ability can use a zero step entrance).
- Every home should have at least one zero step, flush threshold entry with 36″ door.
- In a Lifetime Home, no outlets should be lower than 18″ to prevent stooping. You should easily reach both standing or seated.
- Universal Design and “aging-in-place” (a phrase I hate) are also known as Better Living Design.
- There’s no real point in having a curbed shower, and shower drains do not have to go in the middle of the floor.
- Lever door handles are more efficient and flexible to use than traditional doorknobs. Plus kids cannot destroy as easily.
- Universal Design is inherently multigenerational. UD is easiest and convenient for people of all ages and abilities, therefore multi-gen.
- UD is kid-friendly, not only for “aging-in-place”. In Brazil, Universal Design is preferred by their younger population.
- Among solutions for creating zero step entry: via garage, gently sloped earthen ramp or inset rim atop basement wall.
- Real estate investors should adopt UD to make their props convenient, efficient and more marketable to a larger pool of buyers or tenants.
- Socially sustainable housing starts with you sustaining yourself by being able to stay in your home no matter what.
If you’d rather learn everything in one place and/or assess your property inside and out, don’t forget to visit the Lifetime Home Survey, which we update quarterly.
Here’s a link to our most recent Lifetime Home Survey (LHTS) , which we update quarterly.
Many of the changes relate to indoor air quality. Now that houses are becoming properly buttoned up for improved energy efficiency, you must be aware of the air you breathe, making sure you mechanically bring in fresh air from outside, and not from a basement, crawl space or attic!
Download for free either the mini-version (2 pages) and/or full 34 page assessment at LifetimeHomeSurvey.com .
One note for those with ratcheted up virus protection, the PDFs include many embedded hyperlinks to examples, resources and supporting information so your virus software may either give you a warning or inhibit the download.
Email me if you’re having problems and I’ll reply with the LTHS as attachments. Comments and questions also welcome.
Think I’m kidding? Serious industry thinkers wonder whether PGH should be a certification or standard, like LEED, net zero, etc. to inform consumers about what they’re buying. For those who don’t know, building TO code is a minimum legal standard of structural integrity, performance and safety. PGH would be just above that low bar. Sound appealing in exchange for your hundreds of thousands?
Here, read about the idea yourself. At first I thought the post was a gag, but April Fool’s Day is next year. This is where consumerism has taken us, sometimes literally as we recently discovered during demolition of a high-end home that had ZERO house wrap and a hole in the roof (nothing under the shingles).
There is some truth to this supposedly serious debate. People buying McMansions during the construction boom weren’t getting PGH, they bought JGE = Just Good Enough as the production builders raced to finish developments. NASCAR pitstops aren’t much faster and nothing has changed.
But seriously, if PGH becomes a bona fide certification, consideration or fad, my industry is in sorry shape. Instead, might we assume responsibility for educating consumers about what’s ideal instead of barely acceptable?
Meanwhile think of Code Minimum as the worst, legally approved standard. Pretty good wouldn’t be a whole lot better.
This project portfolio on Houzz represents a fine example of a few points I make regularly about Universal Design (UD). Now that more people are becoming aware of UD, the traditional misconceptions that it’s “ADA” or “will make my house look like a hospital” crop up. UD is for anyone, it’s kid-friendly and, despite an obvious solution, not only for “aging-in-place”.
Review these pictures, do you notice the UD features? No, not unless someone points out, just as you wouldn’t notice a wider doorway (until you’re moving a couch). UD done well blends in and is preferred for maximum convenience, efficiency and control.
UD also isn’t a “style” of house, any residence regardless of size, can be universally designed. Relate to UD applications as merely smart and proactive for any person of any ability.
So you might wonder, why isn’t every home universally designed and built? That’s what we think too, which is why we’ve adopted our mission of building Lifetime Homes.