Resources > Building A Home for A Lifetime -Universal Design

Building A Home for A Lifetime -Universal Design

A Home for all

You may have heard the term Universal Design, but what is it and what does it mean to you?

What makes a home “universal”? It’s simple. Everyone can use universal design! It doesn’t matter if you are young or old.  You could be short or tall, healthy or ill. You might have a disability. Or you may be a prize-winning athlete. Because of universal design, people who are very different can all enjoy the same home.

Universal Design is the design of products and environments that can be used by anyone without the need for adaptation or specialized design.  Features or flexibility are added to products or home designs to accommodate individuals with temporary or permanently reduced abilities.

Some of the more common universal design features include:

  • Extra floor space. Everyone feel less cramped. And people in wheelchairs have more space to turn.
  • Zero Step Entrances allow strollers, luggage, furniture, etc to easily move in and out. Steps are not an obstacle.
  • 36-Inch Wide Doorways throughout the house makes moving furniture a breeze. A wider front door adds curb appeal and provides a beautiful focal point for your home.
  • 42-Inch Hallways provide a more spacious environment for people and air flow, everything moves more easily from room to room.
  • Kitchen and Bath with 48-Inch Clear Floor Space makes multi-tasking simple for today’s busy lifestyle.
  • One-story living. Places to eat, use the bathroom and sleep are all located on one barrier free level.

Some universal design features just make good sense. Once you bring them into your home, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. For example:

  • Floors and bathtubs with non-slip surfaces help everyone stay on their feet. They’re not just for people who are frail. The same goes for handrails on steps and grab bars in bathrooms.
  • Thresholds that are flush with the floor make it easy for a wheelchair to get through a doorway and less likely someone old or young will trip on them.
  • Good lighting helps people with poor vision plus it helps everyone else see better, too.
  • Lever door handles and rocker light switches are great for people with poor hand strength. But others like them too. Try using these devices when your arms are full of packages. You’ll never go back to knobs or standard switches.

Universal design helps you create a home everyone can happily live in whatever their needs may be.