Sparks architecture 

designs ​from the Living at home studio




Jim Sparks





- Evaluating your unique mobility issues and usability needs 

- Performing a comprehensive assessment of your home to identify  barriers to mobility and usability
- Using the latest in aging in place and universal accessible design concepts, designing solutions for each barrier 
- Assisting with the acquisition and installation of accessibility products and appliances

-Identifying funding sources for accessibility modifications and assisting with application preparation

- Evaluating energy usage and recommending energy conservation improvements

- Identification of environmental threats, such as mold, radon, lead-based paint 
- Preparation of remedial actions for each identified threat 
- Preparation of bid documents, assistance with contractor selection, and management of construction projects such as ramp construction, room remodeling, energy conservation improvements and hazard remediation

I specialize in the design of accessibility, energy efficiency, and hazard remediation renovations for older homes, and offer design and construction management services all focused on making your home the best possible environment for you, regardless of your age or degree of mobility impairment.  I work directly with you to learn your needs and translate those into the best design solutions.  I can assist you by:

My services

Making an older home energy efficient and, therefore, more affordable to own or rent, requires extensive knowledge of energy conservation methods, combined with an understanding of the way older homes were built.  Combining the two skill sets ensures energy efficiency is achieved without damaging the historic character.

Homes should be usable throughout the life of the owner. Using principles of aging-in-place, and universal design, it is possible to ensure that homeowners can stay in the place where they feel the safest and most comfortable, regardless of physical and/or sensory disability brought about by accident, illness, or aging. If done properly, universal design is invisible, never calling attention to itself.  Once pointed out to potential buyers, it adds to a home's value.


Since getting my degree in architecture, I have been devoted to designing at the intersection of historic and accessibility - at the individual structure, the neighborhood, and community level. Accessible design is design.  There is no "them" and "us" . We are all mobility impaired. The only differences are when and how much

Supportive urban neighborhoods

When people retire and begin to consider where they will live out their  remaining years, they rarely consider urban areas.  However the downtowns of small and medium-sized communities, and neighborhoods of larger cities near the urban core offer many advantages for people with limited mobility who do not wish to be dependent on a car for visits to friends' homes, stores, restaurants and medical facilities.

While most downtowns no longer have the range of stores and services they once had, they often have professional offices, cafes, government agencies, and parks.  And more importantly, they have sidewalks that allow for mobility by walking or the use of personal mobility technology.  Downtowns and urban neighborhoods are often served by private transportation companies such as Uber, and public transportation may also be available.

Downtowns and urban neighborhoods provide the opportunity for one of the activities most treasured by seniors:  the opportunity to socialize with friends in stimulating settings whenever they choose.


Older homes are prone to hazards which can create dangerous living conditions. They include mold, radon, lead-based paint, and structural deficiencies caused by termites and water infiltration. There is no value in making an older home accessible and energy efficient if these hazards are not addressed in an effective, affordable, attractive manner.