Homes For All Ages and Abilities

Homes For All Ages and Abilities

  • By
  • 31 May, 2019

What is Universal Living?

Your home should be a place of comfort and safety for you and your family. It should also be welcoming to friends, neighbors and extended family for get-togethers and holidays. Unfortunately, most homes are not designed or built with an all-inclusive perspective, and this means that many people are left out or trapped inside of homes.

But there is a way to design and build that is inclusive of people of all ages and abilities. Homes can be constructed so that everyone can easily get in and out of them, move around freely and enjoy being in the home with a minimum of effort. This style of construction goes by many names – Universal Design and accessible homes are just a few – and it’s not a new concept or difficult to implement.

And with a huge segment of our population known as Baby Boomers all turning 55 years old or older in 2019, this type of construction has been gaining in popularity with buyers, builders and product suppliers alike. Thanks to better education of design, acceptance of need and product innovations, what once looked cold and clinical is now normal and hard to notice. By implementing the right options and techniques a home built for everyone looks like any other home, but it works a lot better.

Three years ago, the Remodelers Council of the Building Industry Association of Central SC (BIA) saw a need to help builders and remodelers implement accessible design into their homes, and developed the Universal Living Certification program.

A checklist guides the builder/remodeler through basic, mandatory accessibility functions of a home to make it “visitable” by all – ease of entry from the outside and an accessible bathroom on the entry floor. From there, the program offers options to make the home livable for all on one floor or throughout the entire home. By following the checklist and having the home checked by a third-party verifier, the home receives a certification of Bronze, Silver or Gold based on what is included in the home.

The BIA is very pleased to have homes built to the Certified Universal Living program on this year’s TOUR OF HOMES. In fact, Home #1 – The Showcase Home in Northwoods Villas, Woodcreek Farms by Executive Construction Homes – is one of these certified homes. We’re also happy to report that all homes in Northwoods Villas are being designed and built to the program.

We encourage you to visit this home and learn more about all-inclusive building techniques. You’ll see what we think is the future of residential construction in South Carolina. A future where residents can be unencumbered, safe and comfortable throughout their entire lives.