Introduction to Universal Design

Thanks in large part to the Baby Boomer generation, Universal Design is incorporated into more and more new construction and renovation projects, making each space more livable while increasing potential resale value.

What is Universal Design? 

Universal Design goes beyond being purely functional, and addresses the luxury or high-end finishes people have come to expect in their homes.

Examples of Universal Design

Exterior/Entry:

  • Stepless access through at least one entryway – provides easy entry for those with mobility issues, but also appeals to families with small children (strollers), and reduces the risk of everyday trips and falls
  • Wide hallways – accommodate wheelchairs or walkers, but also ease ability to move furniture in and out of spaces

Kitchen:

  • Pull-out shelves in lower cabinets eases accessibility to items stored in the back
  • Wider turning spaces between work stations (sink, stove, refrigerator, countertop) allow for wheelchair access while making the environment feel more spacious and inviting

Bathrooms:

  • “Comfort height” commode, in conjunction with grab bars for folks with disabilities. Many new homes incorporate higher toilets because they are viewed as a luxury item
  • Separate shower & bathtub, and/or curbless showers ease accessibility for folks with mobility issues; high-end finishes have made these “must-haves” on the luxury item wish list

Main Living Areas:

  • Wider doorways – 32-inch clearance on a 36-inch frame allows easy access for wheelchairs, walkers, etc., as well as over-sized furniture such as king beds, armoirs, desks, and more
  • Light switches that are “rockers” vs. traditional “toggle”-style were originally intended for use by homeowners with mobility or sensory problems, but are now considered luxury items

At Quality Craftsmen, we can incorporate Universal Design features into any project, to provide enjoyment and comfort while you live in your home, and increased resale value down the road.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *