This short article is not your fundamental guide on picking your “dream home”. Nor does it include the list of “products to ask your designer” – these things can be found on any designer’s web site or Google search. As important as those items are, exactly what we are going to do here is drill-down into the design a little, bypass the fan-fare and discuss some particular ideas that will truly make a distinction in your life.
Matching your home to your way of living begins with an exploration of your needs and wants. Many home designers will have some kind of “discovery procedure” that will help determine the basics for your home design. It will begin with the setup of your lot and proceed through products such as privacy requirements, workspace, outdoor areas, and so on. Although this procedure is important to your task, it rarely drills down enough to transform your design into a home that will serve your requirements for a lifetime.
Here are two keys of great home design that should be dealt with up-front: a) examining the property owner’s current requirements; and, b) preparing for the future needs of people living in the home. Before you say “Yeah, yeah … I’ve heard this all prior to!” let’s take a more detailed look at what “existing needs” entail.
Virtually all “discovery procedures” utilized by home designers focus on the use and area requirements of the rooms in your home. This is good, but insufficient attention is offered to the individual requirements of individuals actually staying in the home. Without performing a comprehensive assessment of the customer’s functional abilities, recognizing areas of the home where modifications are needed is typically neglected.
For instance, the requirements of a kid and his/ her ability to live conveniently in the home are rarely attended to at the design phase. It’s necessary to examine the youngster’s current abilities and design an environment that works and grows with the child. Some simple adaptive design elements would consist of adjustable shelves and rods in the closet. As the child grows, the shelves and rods can be moved to better accommodate their reach. Devices provide a comparable circumstance as it is necessary for the controls to be easily accessible. Front mounted controls on cleaning machines and dryers allow their use. Security likewise comes into play. A youngster trying to make use of a microwave positioned overhead is a recipe for catastrophe!
Of course, the above example is really basic, but it shows the point that design has to be done from the perspective of the individual and his/ her capability to perform everyday routines in the home. This is why a great designer will carry out an assessment of the client and specify the needed design adjustments.
There are a few devices that a designer can utilize to evaluate the needs of their customers. One of those devices is the Comprehensive Assessment and Solution Process for Aging Residents (CASPAR). CASPAR was created for health care professionals to assess their client’s capability to carry out routine activities in the home. This is likewise useful in determining the requirements of individuals who have disabilities.
Preparing for the future requirements of people might show a little harder, however we can begin by comprehending the procedure of aging. Whether we want to think about growing old or not, it is unavoidable, and people’s practical abilities reduce in time. A well designed home will quickly adapt to these altering requirements and allow individuals to remain in their homes longer.
Luckily, “universal design” is beginning to settle in modern-day home design. Ron Mace, Founder and Program Director of the Center for Universal Design (NCSU), offer us the following meaning of UD: “The intent of universal design is to simplify life for everybody by making products, interactions, and the developed environment more usable by as lots of people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal design advantages individuals of any ages and abilities.” Due to the fact that the principles of universal design are inclusive for people with disabilities, the application of UD in home design is proper and addresses numerous of the requirements of individuals who wish to “age in place”.
Adaptable design is different in concept from universal design. Where universal design benefits individuals of all ages and abilities, adaptable design allows the home to be modified for a particular need. An example of adaptable design would be developing a two-story home with “stacked closets” (a closet on the very first floor straight below and lined up with a closet on the second floor) so that a residential elevator or lift might easily be installed in the future. On the other hand, a universal design product might be the setup of lever door deals with that are simpler to use for people who have actually lost the capability to grip a conventional round door knob. These lever handles also benefit any individual who may have their hands complete with groceries and want to launch the door latch using their forearm or elbow, as an example. Children also have a simpler time making use of lever door manages.
Comparing universal and adaptable design could appear difficult in the beginning, but when one realizes that these principles have less to do about the setup of certain products and are more about a designer’s perspective, all of it begins to make much better sense. And the designer’s perspective is greatly affected by a thorough client evaluation.
Does this level of service expense more? Yes, most likely. But a couple hundred dollars in advance to hire a qualified designer who will accurately examine your lifestyle and assess your future needs, fades in comparison to leaving your design to possibility. The top key to great home design is to avoid cutting costs at this phase of your job and discover a home designer who is an expert in evaluating your needs and applying the design requirements that will make your home a home for a lifetime.
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