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Home Sweet


Home by Jennifer Webster | Photography by Diana Matthews


ging in place isn’t just what people hope to do. It’s where. Prepare a home you love with careful attention to the environment your future self will need. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy it for many more years. Don’t imagine you’ll be installing clunky grab bars or building ugly plywood ramps, either. Accessible design—also known as universal design—is about making spaces where everyone can function fully, no matter their ability level or physical limitations. It’s a set of a design principles motivated by an ethic of function and an ethos of freedom. Look at Sadler Construction’s works and you’ll see space. Airy openness where —as if by accident—there’s plenty of room for a wheelchair to enter and turn. Space for knees under counters, which are low enough to accommodate people sitting down to work. Graceful, curbless entries into marble showers. Lawns sloping majestically, right up to stepless entryways. Behind the scenes, says Lewis Sadler, owner of Sadler Construction, partner with Accessible Design & Build and a certified aging-in-place specialist (CAPS) in Cary, the houses are structurally ready for future modifications. For instance, structural supports inside walls allow for grab bars to be easily and safely mounted when needed, or closets may be stacked with false floors that can be converted to an elevator space if needed.

Form and Function

Sadler, who exclusively builds accessible houses, discusses both the theory and the nitty-gritty of universal design. First, CAPS certification is given to people, not structures. Homes and other buildings can incorporate various levels of accessibility, from adequate to ample. CONTINUED PAGE 34

32 | MARCH 2016

OutreachNC March 2016  

Universal By Design issue featuring: The Cary Theater, Home Sweet Forever Home, 5 Ways to Age in Place, Carolina Conversations with Actor/Si...

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