Posts Tagged ‘easy living’
Lifetime Home Survey UPDATED
- new products we’ve discovered and/or are now using
- replacing any mention of fluorescent with LED lighting
- multiple embedded hyperlinks to source material, additional information or manufacturers/vendors
There are numerous active links (anything underlined blue, all dot-coms as well as the green title of the document) to make the surveys convenient and save you time Googling. Click the underlined text and you’ll be taken to that web site. If you rest your mouse pointer over blue underlined words, you should see the web address to which you’ll be re-directed when you click those words. Email me and I’ll forward as raw PDF attachments if it’s not working.
Remember, because I’ve added and deleted since the original, the line items have changed. Please reference the version date at the top and specific line item if you have a question so we’re on the same page.
Epic Fail at Zero Steps
What a missed opportunity. Do you see it? Notice what might’ve been?
Instead there will be exterior steps to every entrance when, with only a dash of forethought and proactive design, there could’ve been zero steps and a flush threshold entrance at each entry point on the main level. Instead of step-free ease, residents and visitors will climb to a doorway on an essentially flat lot in a new neighborhood of mostly level parcels.
This is how inaccessibility becomes baked in from groundbreaking, due only to lazy design and construction. This sows the seeds of future ramps, which are the worst “cure” for correcting an at best inconvenient and at worst prohibitive entry into any home (i.e. imagine using a walker or wheelchair, and in bad weather).
Alternately, there could’ve been no steps and a wide, roll-in entrance for maximum convenience, safety and ease for anyone of any age or ability, carrying stuff, pushing a baby stroller, pulling luggage or lugging groceries. What would the movers prefer?
Our Resolution is a Revolution
Subliminal Universal Design
I saw during an NFL game a few weeks ago this Delta faucet commercial. (Scroll to the bottom of that page to see two versions and consider who Delta is targeting with that ad placement during a pro football game.) Delta promotes their touch and motion activated faucets among their “Smart Solutions” kitchen and bath fixtures.
Given our specialty, I immediately recognized the product as universally designed, but not once in either commercial do they mention specifically the universal functionality nor benefits for “aging-in-place” or overcoming inability/disability (although there is a brief glimpse of a kid with a cast). They merely SHOW easy use for anyone of any age or condition (messy hands). I love it!
When you walk through the automatic doors of a retail store, ever once thought to yourself, “Wow, that’s great universal design”? No, you simply walk through without touching a door handle.
Proponents of UD for the home often become frustrated when consumers “don’t get it”, when they react ho-humly to “universally designed” features held dear because the benefits of no-step entries, wider doorways/hallways, curb-less showers are so evident to us.
But the important point isn’t what it’s called but bottom line how it performs. Who wouldn’t prefer something better if they can plainly see and experience the benefits without a technical explanation? Who cares as long as it works as promised?
Universally designed products, features and applications are indisputably easier (simple/faster), efficient (conserving personal effort as well as energy usage), convenient (point of use), safer, comfortable and proactive (planned/designed with forethought). Consumers will demand these smarter alternatives once they see/experience that UD performs (and is affordable), not because of a technical name nobody can remember. The Delta commercials demonstrate effectively the advantages of their innovative technology over a traditional faucet.
As the saying goes, there’s plenty more where that came from, residential housing design and construction is beginning a renaissance (ironic considering the dismal state of housing in general). Next year BuilderFish starts construction of a Lifetime Home that will incorporate many of these elements. The project will be one big Show-and-Tell and we, including the owners, look forward to sharing the journey.
What is a Lifetime Home?
Any “house” can be a Lifetime Home. Regardless of square footage or type, a Lifetime Home will accommodate you and your family no matter what for as long as you choose to live there. In other words, a Lifetime Home adapts to you, the opposite of Peter Pan Syndrome, which produces houses designed and built as if nobody changes. A Lifetime Home isn’t a style, but an essence, a smart, high performance house regardless of climate or geographic area.
Does that mean it’s expensive? Could be depending on your choices and preferences. But making sure throughout the house that no outlets are lower than 18 inches nor any switches/controls are higher than 48 inches doesn’t cost an extra cent. NOT building steps could actually save money by…..not building steps. So as with so many questions, the answer “depends” on what you make it.
However, even if you want the latest and greatest in your Lifetime Home, you need to assess the total cost (i.e. actual expense and opportunity cost) over the long term. The Gizmatic might cost more today but what if it performs flawlessly, lasts forever, keeps you active, secure and comfortable longer? Or maybe you can live without. So cost is relative, particularly compared to the continued rising cost of long term and assisted care.
Finally, a Lifetime Home could be your dream house or “the last move” but not necessarily. More importantly and regardless of life stage (e.g. imagine children), a Lifetime Home is convenient, comfortable, efficient and secure for everyone (including visitors) no matter their age or abilities. A Lifetime Home is multi-generational for YOU throughout YOUR decades. A Lifetime Home is about ANY-ability not inability/disability. It’s simply smart.
Questions? Email me.