Accessibility and Universal Design

ADA Accessible

Today’s American with Disabilities Act (ADA), compliant homes encompasses a wide range of accessibility features. If you or a family member have ADA Accessible needs Building Renewal, Inc. can work closely with you to determine the best features to include when building or remodeling your home.

Universal Design

Universal design is a fairly new approach which includes many of the ADA compliant recommendations for creating livable, marketable environments for everyone. It applies to spaces, features, and products taking into consideration user needs and abilities throughout their lifespan; it attempts to meet the needs of people of all ages, sizes, and abilities. Universal designs are not special; the intent is to eliminate the stigma and special appearance to ensure marketability. Incorporating universal features into a new home or during a typical remodeling project will not change the appearance of the home nor necessarily increase the project cost. The market for homes with universal features is expected to increase as older people strive to remain at home and independent. Homeownersshould consider including universal features during new home and remodeling projects both to meet the new market and to ensure their own comfort in later years.

Design Ideas

Some of the methods recommended for making a home more functional are:

  • Lever handle door hardware and faucets.
  • Large rocker-style light switches.
  • Extra lighting where necessary.
  • Hand-held flexible shower fixtures.
  • New electrical outlets and telephone jacks (when needed).
  • Adjustable hanging closet rod and shelf systems.
  • Wider doorways to allow for a 32-inch clear opening.
  • Create a clear, level circulation route through the home.
  • Turning radius dimensions if you are planning for wheelchair access.
  • Increasing bathroom square footage.
  • Easy access shower or bathtub.
  • Variable height to increase usability (i.e. for a child or seated individual).
  • Higher, elongated toilet.
  • Grab bars around shower and toilet area.
  • Front mounted controls on appliances for easy access
  • Long handled faucet installed at side or back of sink
  • Cabinets with drawer slides on shelves to enable easier reach
  • Under cabinet lighting to add more light to countertop and cooking areas
  • Side by side refrigerator
  • Adjustable height cabinets and sinks.

New home or remodeling design which incorporates these and many other available universal features will help make living in your home easier now and allow you to live there longer as you age.

 Contact A Minnesota Universal Design Contractor

To find out more about how we can help you with your ADA Accessible, Universal Design new home or remodel project call us today at 763-263-9633 to schedule your free inspection and estimate. You can also fill out the contact form on this page so that someone from our office can contact you.