With the summer weather, people are spending more time outdoors. When you are planning an outdoor space, whether it is a deck, a patio, a garden, or even a pool, use Universal Design principles to create outdoor spaces that can be enjoyed by everyone. Start with zero step entries from the inside to the outside. Lever handles on the locksets make the doors easy to open for everyone. Hard surface gently sloping walkways through the yard and garden make the outdoors accessible for everyone, including those with mobility issues. Those of us who enjoy gardening will appreciate raised bed planters with knee space underneath for gardening while seated. A covered, screened in area will keep the rain and the bugs out, extending the amount of time it can be enjoyed.
This porch we are currently building features a stamped concrete floor, an Ultimate Underdeck ceiling to keep out water from the deck above, ceiling fans for a cooling breeze, wide arched openings overlooking the lake, and zero step entry doorways into the house. When the project is finished it will be screened in with pool and patio screen to create a relaxing insect free environment. With a porch like this, the outdoors can easily become your favorite room in the house. To gain access to your yard and garden you need to consider the topography of your lot. If you are putting in a ramp, the recommended maximum slope is one inch per foot. If you can, a slope of one inch per twenty inches will create a gently sloping walkway that is comfortable for almost everyone to negotiate. Level areas which are covered provide a spot to relax and spend time outdoors. Use your imagination to create accessible, inviting spaces outdoors that you can enjoy for years to come. For more information on creating an outdoor retreat at your home, give us a call at 540-384-2064. Happy Summer!
Solid Rock has written many articles for Housing Matters, including subject matter for Retirement, Enjoying the Outdoors and Aging In Place. Please visit our Housing Matters Index of articles here.