Longtime home remodeler John Wolfe is passionate about universal design—design for people of all abilities that allow people to age in place.
Wolfe received certification in universal design from the National Association for the Remodeling Industry.
“As my parents get older, and as I age, my interest keeps growing,” Wolfe says.
In 2018, he and business partner, Rick Stanley, founded Wolfe Homes For Life. The team guts and remodels ranch houses in the Kansas City area and creates modern, open floor plans. The universal-design features incorporated include:
- Zero-depth entryways from the front and back of the house.
- Wide hallways and passageways that can accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
- No or low thresholds to showers.
- Contrasting colors in flooring, cabinetry and countertops to help visually delineate surfaces.
- Walls, especially in bathrooms, reinforced with plywood behind drywall for hanging grab bars.
- Levers instead of knobs on doors for easier opening and closing.
“We’ve started off slow, but plan to add more houses because of the demand,” Wolfe says. “Our goal is to offer sophisticated but accessible design so people can age in place.”