Anatomy Of A Smart-City

How Home-buyers Looking for an Accessible House Can Better Frame Their Search

From guest writer: Patrick Young

Whether you have a disability, someone in your family does, or you will be caring for someone with mobility issues in the future, there are plenty of reasons why you may need an accessible home. Finding the right home for your needs right now could mean all the difference in determining the quality and quantity of your independent years. Here are some vital tips to remember when you’re searching for that perfect home.

The Perfect Home Probably Doesn’t Exist

This is a hard truth, but a truth nonetheless: More than likely, you’re not going to find a home that meets every single one of your needs. The sooner you realize this, the better off you’ll be. Homes can be modified, so your task is to find the home that best aligns with your accessibility needs, not the one that perfectly adheres to them.

Features You May Want to Consider

Having said that, some homes are much better than others when it comes to what you want as a starting point. Every disability is different, but here are some features and qualities of a potential new home that you may want to consider:

  • Is everything you need accessible on one level? In other words, can you cook, sleep, and use the bathroom without tackling stairs?
  • How wide are the doorways and hallways? Will they fit a wheelchair comfortably? Widening projects are doable, but some might require structural changes.
  • Is there at least one entry to the home that has zero stairs?
  • How much upkeep does the yard require?
  • How close is the home to points of interest and necessity (family members, grocery store, church, park, pharmacy, etc.)?
  • How accessible are the kitchen cabinets, drawers, and appliances? Would it be a relatively easy fix to make them more accessible? You don’t need to stress too much about the appliances, as a thorough online search will help you find the right types of new and accessible appliances to fit your life.

Work Your Modification Costs Into Your Homebuying Budget

If you can afford a $200,000 home and you find a home that costs $200,000 but will need some modifications, then you simply cannot afford that home. It’s important that you make a complete list of every single accessibility modification you’ll need to make to any prospective home and factor that into the cost. Start by checking out a mod cost estimator.

Let the Internet Make House Hunting Easier

Physical house hunting — scheduling in-person showings and spending long Saturdays at open houses — can be taxing, both mentally and physically. However, with apps and other online services that offer everything from photos to videos and virtual tours, you can comfortably hunt from your couch. This will help prevent the dreaded house hunting burnout.

Remember to Study Up on Your Rights and Aid Options

Unfortunately, it has to be addressed: You need to know your rights as a disabled homebuyer. The Fair Housing Act protects you from discrimination in the buying, selling, negotiating, and loan process. Hopefully, you won’t have to exert this knowledge, but it’s best to study up.

There is also assistance to be had — both private and governmental — depending on your income and disability status. You can receive special loans and even grants for home modifications and more if you know where to look.

An accessible home can be your ticket to a happier, healthier life. Finding the right home can seem stressful and overly challenging, but if you can stay under-budget and find a home that meets a majority of your clearly defined needs, you can tweak it to be the perfect fit. House hunting can be arduous, but taking the extra time to make sure you find the right home is well worth it in the long run.

Photo by Gustavo Zambelli on Unsplash

 

 

10 Smart and Stylish Home Offices

These spaces combine good looks with hardworking design features

There are stylish home offices and there are practical home offices. But a home office that’s stylish and practical? That’s a winning combination, and these 10 home offices hit the mark. See how the designers, architects and builders who helped create these rooms did it, and take away ideas for your home office remodel.

Visual Guide To Child Proofing

The measures will differ depending on the child’s age. For instance, you need to know that soft bedding in your infant’s crib is relatively dangerous because it can cause suffocation. Also, keep in mind that stairs can cause a lot of problems for both toddlers and preschoolers.

As your kids grow up, you’ll also have to remember to keep your front door locked or consider placing the lock higher so they can’t reach it and go out unattended.

Home Styles From Around the World

I love watching home makeover shows. It’s fascinating to see before-and-afters, but I also enjoy seeing the existing design of a home. I sometimes wonder how architects and interior designers come up with home styles. Today, we’re going to look at 21 house styles from around the world thanks to research from the team at RubberBond.

 

source: http://rubberbond.co.uk

A Barrier-Free Master Bathroom With a Luxurious Feel

Bathroom remodel offers ideas for designing an accessible bathroom that’s elegant too

Master Bathroom at a Glance
Who lives here: A semi-retired couple whose children are grown
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Size: 100 square feet (9.3 square meters)
Designer: Carnemark Design + Build

This couple living in a two-story home were ready to transition to first-floor living. The husband had been diagnosed with a debilitating illness that would gradually limit his mobility and require the use of a wheelchair. The homeowners decided to stay in their Bethesda, Maryland, residence and relocate their master suite downstairs. They turned to designer Jonas Carnemark, whose design-build firm had done previous work for them, to make their ground floor more accessible and to turn their downstairs en suite bathroom into a barrier-free master bath.

Carnemark’s aim was to design a space that felt like a luxurious retreat rather than a nurse’s station. The homeowners were budget-conscious, so the designer also focused on providing value in the selection of materials and features.

The bathroom has won several awards, including the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s 2018 award for universal design.

NATURAL LIGHT: THE BENEFITS OF BRIGHTENING UP YOUR HOME

Natural light simply cannot be rivalled by artificial light. Natural light can have an effect on both your mental and physical health, as well as playing a critical role when it comes to your overall wellbeing. Therefore, learning some of the best ways to let more sunlight into your home is invaluable.

NATURAL LIGHT SOURCES

In order to establish the best ways of letting more light into your home, you’ll need to first understand the differences between natural light and artificial light. Natural sources include the sun, stars, moon, fire and lightning, where sources of artificial light include candles, lamps, electric bulbs, smart phones, tablets and computers.

Although artificial light can also have its benefits and advantages to our lifestyle, natural light really cannot be rivalled and letting more sunlight into your home wherever you can will help you reap its many rewards.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF NATURAL LIGHT

When the sun’s out it makes us feel good, uplifted and wanting to get out and about. Sunlight and Vitamin D go hand in hand. Vitamin D helps to lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. As well as this, natural light helps support the regulation of Serotonin and Melatonin levels, helps to reduce stress levels, and helps regulate Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

As well as all the above health benefits, sunlight is also known to improve productivity levels and improve sleeping habits. Natural light has a profound effect on our sleep and waking habits, and is vital in regulating our circadian rhythm. Did you know that people exposed to greater amounts of natural light during the morning (8am – noon) often fall asleep more quickly at night and have fewer sleep disturbances?

The following infographic, designed by the team at Cool Shutters, outlines some of the main benefits of letting more sunlight into your home, as well as some key ways in exactly how you can let more natural light into your home. From windows, sky lighting and doors to mirrors, paint choices and flooring, there are plenty of opportunities to brighten up your home or even your office space.

In an easy-to-follow layout, the infographic starts off by pinpointing the key differences between natural light and artificial light and the various sources of each, the infographic then goes onto explaining blue light, the Lux levels of different types of lighting and then some key facts around energy savings. Going into in-depth detail, the infographic shown below also explains the many health benefits of sunlight, and then concluding with some top tips on how exactly you can increase the natural light exposure in your home.

source: https://www.coolshutters.co.uk/2018/05/21/natural-light-the-benefits-of-brightening-up-your-home/

Get More Kitchen Storage With Counter-Depth Upper Cabinets

Get the lowdown on expanding your upper storage capacity

Upper cabinets don’t come in one height or width, and they don’t come in just one depth either. Typically, upper cabinets are much shallower than lower cabinets, sometimes by as much as half the depth. That’s some serious space you’re missing out on if you’re looking to squeeze every inch of storage out of your kitchen. Here’s why you might want to consider going deep with your upper cabinets.

Where to Hang Open Shelves in the Kitchen

Consider these locations for letting in natural light, dealing with a tricky corner and more

Open shelving in the kitchen is a bit of a love-it-or-leave-it idea, and whether it’s practical or not comes largely down to how you use your kitchen. But if you do want to incorporate floating shelves, a question emerges: Where should you hang them? There are many great places to put open shelves, and this guide will help you determine the best spot in your kitchen.