Universal Design is the practice of incorporating important design considerations including use of material, safety issues, logistical / access systems and accessibility. I believe in incorporating Universal Design in all we do.
When we start designing a remodel project or home for Stay at Home tm ,we discuss the Universal Design ideas at the outset.. For example:
If we are putting in a new shower, why not drop the curb and make it flush with the floor? Same amount of tile and labor and you have only added a few hours of carpentry. You have made the shower stall easier to use for yourself, aging parents ,other seniors and even people with disabilities - easy access for everyone! Also why not use a 36” opening in that shower and install a vertical shower head rod to make that adjustable. All that makes perfect sense!
When designing the master bath, how about making sure there is an unencumbered clear 5 ‘radius in the room, if you have space. Sure would help you not bump into reach other – you would also be helping yourself or others in its future use as movements get restricted for seniors. It also looks great!
If we are drawing a 2-6 door, why not make it 2-8? Doesn’t take any more time and the installation is the same. The cost differential for a 2-8 door vs. a 2-6 door is minimal too. Same goes for wider hallways- same amount of labor and material – that won’t cost you a dime and greatly helps access and travel.
· Order you exterior doors with flush thresholds. It eliminates that board that you might stub your toe on and make it easy access!
These are many other things one can discuss, but you must catch these issues at the start of design. So…. “Start design with others in mind “and you’ll get the same great design while you might be helping others who visit or live in your home!