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Offered by Jan Hepp-Struck, Hepp Realty

In this three-part series on universal design I’ve been addressing the hot button topic of our rapidly growing aging population and their desire to stay in their homes rather than being stuck in an “old folks home.” Addressing the challenges of meeting those needs through universal design focuses on safety, ease of movement, and attractive design, both inside and outside, for all ages and abilities regardless of the stage of life. We’ve talked about interior adaptations, so let’s focus on exterior adaptations this month.

First and foremost, we live in a dry climate here in Colorado and water rates and consumption are hot button issues of their own. So, in the interest of getting the maximum bang for your buck, any adaptations you make to your landscaping should realistically incorporate xeriscaping elements. Luckily that blends very easily and nicely with ways to accommodate mobility and accessibility. When designing a new landscape theme to your home, think about gradual inclines using brick work, pavers, or poured/stamped concrete done in a creative design savvy and intentional way to avoid the appearance of a retrofitted ramp.

Imagine a lovely gradual incline winding in between tiered and raised planting beds of xeric plants eliminating the need for steps to your front door. This universal design element will make your home entry more accessible for walkers, wheelchairs, etc. Additionally, the raised planting beds themselves will be more accessible and easily managed for varying abilities. And the bonus is that it should also increase your home’s curb appeal, while lowering your maintenance costs, because of the lowered demand for watering as compared to a lawn, which is not only expensive to water, but also requires a lot of physical maintenance.

For proven expertise in buying or selling a home, call Jan at 303. 520.4340

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