Atlanta Remodeling

Newsletter :: Issue 6



Portion of U.S. population that will be over 65 by 2030.

Source: American Chronicle

Increase in U.S. residential building permit applications in May, the largest increase in 3 months.

Source: US Commerce Dept.

Increase in number of U.S. counties with green building initiatives since 2003.

Source: American Institute of Architects



A second story addition dramatically transformed this family home in Atlanta's Virginia Highlands into a home that still maintains its cottage charm but also features new elements such as a covered front porch, a two-level screened porch off the rear, and raised ceilings and wider openings on the main level. The former screen porch also become part of the home's interior space, smartly allowing this expansion to add over 1,300 sq ft.

Inside, the second floor addition provides this growing family with four new bedrooms and three baths. A large vaulted ceiling and private screened porch are highlights of the new master suite.

A new nursery and guest room are located on the other side of the second level. The exposed face of the chimney in the guest room adds texture and character. The opposite side of the chimney is uniquely integrated into the guest bath as one of the shower's walls.

To see more photos of this renovation project, please visit the photo gallery at


The first wave of Baby Boomers will turn 65 in 2011, and the construction industry has been adapting to meet the needs of that wave of potential customers for several years. As far back as 2000, in a survey conducted by AARP, 71% of respondents 45 and older said they "strongly agreed" that they wanted to stay in their homes. The concepts and techniques of Universal Design are what will allow that trend to play out, as homes are built and remodeled to fit the changing needs of the population.

While the aging population has been the major driver behind the evolution of Universal Design, the basic concepts are not limited to that segment. The core idea behind UD lies in creating spaces that meet the needs of all people, young and old, able and disabled. It is rooted in seven basic principles:

Principle 1: Equitable Use

The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.

Principle 2: Flexibility in Use

The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.

Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive Use

Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.

Principle 4: Perceptible Information

The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions of the user's sensory abilities.

Principle 5: Tolerance for Error

The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

Principle 6: Low Physical Effort

The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue.

Principle 7: Size and Space for Approach and Use

Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user's body size, posture, or mobility.


Contrary to some popular perceptions, a home designed with UD features does not need to look and feel much different from a traditional home. The difference is in the details. Extra-wide door openings and hallways, smooth transitions from different floor surfaces, wide decks and fewer stairs are all virtually unnoticeable. Kitchens with adjustable countertops and cabinets, undercounter kneespace, and pullout shelves are more functional for all users. Some more advanced features are often found in bathrooms: bathtubs with fold-down or integrated seats, built-in lifts, and roll-in or transfer shower modules. The design of all of these products will continue to improve as demand increases, and their integration into traditional design becomes more and more prevalent.

For more information on Universal Design, please visit: