Universal home design is becoming increasingly popular in both new construction and home renovations. This style of living is designed to easily accommodate everyone no matter your age or physical requirements. You can build a beautiful home with unlimited accessibility for whatever hurdles life may throw at your family.
Floor Plan: If you are renovating your home to be universal, the most important design feature is single floor living – one bedroom, bathroom, living area, kitchen and dining area are on the first floor. If you are building a new home, the best plan is to have the entire home built as one story.
Doorways: One of the entrances to your home should be “no-step entry” so they are easier to negotiate for strollers, walkers, or wheelchairs. Other doorway thresholds in your home should be made flush to reduce injuries. Install lever-style handles on doors for easier access for all and allow at least 32 inches for every doorway and hallway to accommodate wheelchair access.
Bathrooms: Showers should be equipped with grab bars, built-in benches, and non-slip flooring. Choose a barrier free threshold stall shower or walk-in tub. Hand-held shower heads will guarantee that most everyone can shower independently. Also consider a wall-mounted sink with no cabinetry underneath for ease of access for wheelchairs.
Switches, Outlets & Lights: All light switches, thermostats and electrical outlets should be within reach for anyone in a wheelchair. It’s also important to have ample lighting for outdoor walkways and throughout your home. Nightlights with motion sensors are helpful for everyone.
Appliances: Washers and dryers should not be stacked as this will not be usable for everyone. Front load washers and dryers are the best option. An oven with front controls will also be useful and will prevent injuries and burns. Side-by-side refrigerators will be appreciated by anyone in a wheelchair and people of any stature.
Universal home design is a smart choice no matter your age. The design choices are endless and you can incorporate universal design into your home without anyone noticing.
Visit our Universal Design Pinterest page for more ideas!