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Universal Design: Customize Your Space to Fit Your Needs By Meg Pauken
Riviera Construction, a local expert in Universal Design, can make multigenerational living a reality for your family. Riviera has helped clients redesign living spaces that allow them to “age in place,” and remain in a beloved family home, rather than move to a sterile apartment. Riviera has also worked with families to adapt their homes so that aging parents or disabled family members can live there comfortably. Universal Design refers to the design and construction of spaces so that they can be accessed and used to the greatest extent possible, by people of different sizes, ages, abilities, and disabilities. It is a specialized niche in the design and construction field. By employing the principles of Universal Design, the accessibility features become an intrinsic part of the design, not something that appears “tacked on” or temporary. Ken Badalamenti, the owner of Riviera Construction, says, “As our population ages, we have had more and more clients who want to stay in their homes and age in place. We are able to work with them to adapt their homes in a way that allows for better accessibility, but still looks and feels like the home that they love.” Some ways to make your home more accessible using Universal Design concepts include widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair and adding grab bars in lavatories. A contractor like Riviera, who is knowledgeable about Universal Design, will help you see the less obvious alterations that will make your home not only accessible, but fully functional for family and friends with a range of abilities and limitations. By incorporating adaptations into the design of the space, Universal Design features look seamless and do not detract from the esthetics of your home. For example, when a kneehole and lower-height work area are properly incorporated into a kitchen, they blend into the overall design. Particular floor coverings are more “friendly” to walkers and wheelchairs than others. Cabinets can be designed to maximize accessibility. “One renovation that has become very popular is the addition of an elevator,” Badalamenti offers. “There are a lot of different designs and configurations that can be done.” Attractive elevator options are available to fit a range of styles, from contemporary to traditional. The team at Riviera Construction has the knowledge and experience to help you identify where renovations to your home can accommodate physical challenges, so that the space will function well for your whole family. They will take the time to listen, to find out what you need and how you intend to use the space. They will work with you to make that vision a reality. Are you thinking about renovating your space to make it more accessible? Give Ken Badalamenti at Riviera Construction a call today at 440.349.9744 to discuss how he could adapt your home. Riviera Construction’s website includes photographs of a selection of completed projects, as well as testimonials from many happy clients. Find it at riviera-construction.com. Riviera Construction 440.349.9744 riviera-construction.com.

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