Are you an Ann Arbor, MI homeowner living with a disability or mobility issue? Do you know of someone, a friend or loved one, who’s having trouble adapting to a particular ailment? Many of us greatly value our independence, our ability to take care of ourselves. However, many of us view independence as conditional that it can, in fact, be taken away. There are times when we are faced with an unforeseen physical development or trauma that leaves us handicapped or disabled in some way and suddenly everything changes. Tasks which used to be simple become complex. Everyday life becomes more demanding than it ever has before. When issues like these arise many people think that they have no choice but to give up their independence, to invite a live-in nurse into their home or move to an assisted living facility. Both of these measures can be extremely helpful, but both can be seen by the individual experiencing them as a violation of their privacy. Regardless, many view their options as either sharing their home with a stranger or giving up their home and moving away. Fortunately, there is another option.

Community Renovations is a commercial and residential contractor ready and able to take on a huge variety of projects, everything from design work to small remodeling jobs to the construction of entire buildings from the ground up and everything in-between. Though we do a huge range of work for an extremely diverse array of clients, we are perhaps most proud of our barrier-free program. Barrier-free involves creating or redesigning a home to be completely handicap accessible, allowing those who are disabled or have impaired mobility the ability to move across their home with ease. However, because our barrier-free program is based around the tenants of universal design we attempt, on every project, to make homes which are not just ideal for handicapped users but also for able-bodied homeowners as well. The tenants of universal design are as follows:

• Every building should be optimized to as many different types of people as possible.

• Any practices made to optimize your building for one subsection of the population should not jeopardize the buildings functionality for other subsections. In other words, making changes which would benefit one group but put another at a disadvantage is discouraged.

• A big part of universal design is making everything intuitive. Just because a building is better optimized for more members of the population that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be more complex.

• The operation of devices should require as little physical effort as possible.

These are just a few of the governing rules of universal design. If you’re interested in learning more and you live in the Ann Arbor, MI area contact Community Renovations today.