Universal Design: Building Homes for Aging in Place

As a premier luxury custom home builder in Asheville, we consider the needs of our clients when it comes to thinking about their future. Aging in place is an important factor to think about when you are investing in your custom build and expect to continue living in your home as you age. Aging in place means you can maintain or even improve your quality of life by incorporating services or other means of support into your home that will provide you with necessary aspects to continue living in your home for as long as you are able to, as you age. This takes into consideration things like addressing physical restrictions that may already be present or that may become a factor in your life as you age. Such restrictions can include: reduced vision, risk of falls, risk of illness, reduced hearing and decreased mental and physical capabilities. With Asheville being a prime location for many people looking to build their dream homes and retire, we make sure aging in place is reviewed as an option when it comes to building custom homes.

How do we put this mission to work? We integrate Universal Design into our custom homes for homeowners who choose to age in place. While universal design and aging in place may seem like something that is limited to the elderly and disabled, it is becoming an increasingly popular way to build homes with younger consumers who are looking ahead to what their futures may hold. Despite what many may think, incorporating universal design into a custom home can not only provide sustained functionality but it can be integrated in aesthetically pleasing ways.

Some examples of incorporating Universal Design into a custom home are:

  • building wider doorways and hallways
  • one-story living
  • no-step entry
  • thresholds that are flush with the floor
  • and extra floor space

These types of floorplan attributes can provide a functional flow to a custom home while also maintaining an elegant look and feel. For instance, kitchen work surfaces that are designed at different heights can yield an aesthetically unique look while also providing long-term functionality. Even designing a no-threshold shower and including specifically placed blocking to potentially add a grab bar is a simple but effective way of introducing universal design into your bathroom. Another example is utilizing closet space; by stacking closets one on top of the other between floors, you are providing a way to add an elevator to your home if the need arises. Simple but effective. There are many possibilities when thinking of how to design your home to serve you for the rest of your life, which is why we are here to help you navigate what you may need in the future. We strive to provide our clients with a lifetime of functional luxury living, so that they may continue to thrive and enjoy their custom home as they age.

Aspects of Universal Design can be found in some of our custom homes. (Left) This shower is an example of a no-threshold shower, eliminating the lip removes an obstacle that could potentially pose a challenge for someone with limited physical abilities. (Right) This home also features a discreet elevator that one might otherwise think is just a closet.

Another one of our custom homes also features an open vanity that could accommodate a wheelchair if necessary.

Another one of our custom homes also features an open vanity that could accommodate a wheelchair if necessary.