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Northern VA Deck Design: Universally Accessible Decks
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Universal Deck Design for Baby Boomers in Northern VA
As more baby boomers decide to “age in place,” there have been some changes to Northern VA deck designs to make them universally accessible. This design concept is known as “Universal Design.”
Universal design – also called barrier–free design – focuses on making the house safe and accessible for everyone, regardless of age, physical ability, or stature.
In the past, universal design has focused on the interior of the home, perhaps with the addition of a ramp on the side of the house. In recent years, homeowners have decided that they don’t want to exclude themselves, family, or friends from enjoying activities around the exterior of the house. So new decks are being designed and built with universal accessibility in mind.
Just because a deck uses universal design principals doesn’t mean that the specific needs of those with disabilities should not be incorporated. Before any design takes place, the designer and the homeowners should discuss:
Current and future accessibility needs for those who have disabilities and how they will use the deck. For example, designing for people with vision issues can be different than designing a deck for people who have mobility issues and require a walker or a wheelchair.
How the deck will be used. Will they be cooking and dining on their deck? Will there be an outdoor entertainment center? Do they want an area for games or relaxing? Do they want to include accessible built–in seating and easy access to built–in deck planters to garden in?
Whether a ramp will be part of the deck. Due to the needs of the homeowners, or the lack of space for a proper ramp, sometimes wheelchair lifts or large landings are used instead of ramps.
Decking materials, color selection, lights, and other utilities (such as electricity to run a lift) are all important to universal design.
As with all decks, there will be code minimums that must be met for handrails, baluster spacing, size and depth of footings, and the size/depth of landings. Above code, a universal Northern VA deck design will also include at least 2 ways for everyone to get on and off the deck easily, in case of a fire or other emergency.
For more information about universal Northern VA deck design, please contact the experts at Hal Co Fence. Serving Northern VA communities, the experts at Hal Co Fence Company design and build high–quality custom decks and have unmatched customer service.
The Residents of Northern Virginia and the Washington DC Metropolitan Area
With almost 40 years of experience, we are a family owned and operated fence and custom deck contractor committed to providing the highest quality products and unparalleled service available in Stafford County VA, Faquier County VA, Dumfries VA, Great Falls VA, Leesburg VA, Manassas VA and Reston VA...