Residential Accessibility- A Win-Win For Everyone

In recent years, there has been growing awareness and acceptance to provide a wider range of residential housing needs for people of all abilities. This had led to the development and inclusion of Universal Design principles in residential real estate that provide aging in place options, safer living, and more accessibility and independence for all family members.

Universal Design is a practical approach to home living that makes everyday tasks much easier and most home features highly accessible, no matter the strength or ability of each person in a household. The principles of Universal Design also make it possible for all members of a household to enjoy living together, while still meeting the diverse physical challengers of each individual. It’s a win, win for all families when this approach to home remodeling is adopted.

If you are considering an accessibility remodel or addition, your first stop should be Glickman|Design Remodel Build. We have over 40 years of hands-on design and construction experience in creating elegant, safe and comfortable accessibility residential remodeling.

We know there’s a lot to be considered when implementing universal design principles to a rehabilitation project or home remodel, but there are some basic, universal structural features that should be addressed.

Here are 14 elements that should be considered as you design and recreate Your Home For Life.

1. Should have no steps and very low or no threshold
2. Roof over entrances for convenience and enlarged maneuverability at entrance

Interior Basics
3. Doorways should have 36″ doors with 32″ clearance
4. Halls with 42″ widths if at all possible
5. Additional electrical outlets throughout home with plenty of outlet in bedroom for extra lighting and alarm systems
6. Additional maneuvering space at all doorways; consider removing doors to allow more space, if needed; pocket doors are also a good option

Residential Accessibility

7. Try to increase interior floor space if a bathroom is smaller than a 5ft? x 8ft.
8. Provide kneespace under sink area for wheelchair use
9. Adjust placement of controls for tubs, showers and sinks with accessible fixtures
10. Install proper height accessible toilet and maintain at least 18″ from sidewalls for ease of use
11. Add curbless shower, if possible with at least 32″ x 60″ dimensions
12. Plan ahead by adding reinforcement studding around toilets, showers and other fixtures to allow addition of grab bars if needed later on

Residential Accessibility

13. Install adaptable cabinetry that allows kneespace under sink, cooktop and work stations; This is helpful to both elderly, disabled and wheelchair bound.
14. Adjust any available floor space to plan for 60″ minimum turn radius to allow for wheelchair and for various levels of disability use.

Residential Accessibility
Residential Accessibility
Residential Accessibility

Using these remodeling priorities for universal design to guide your home project will ensure that you incorporate the most important construction elements for any accessible need you or your family may have. Plus, it provides smart aging in place planning for both safety, accessibility, and comfort for many years to come.

We invite you to reach out to Glickman|Design Remodel Build to learn more about the ways you can re-design your home to include ease, comfort, safety and accessibility. Over the past 40 years we’ve built a solid reputation of providing beautiful design and superior craftmanship to homeowners across the DMV. Please contact us or give us a call. And if you’re in the Annapolis area, reach out to our new partners and accessibility experts, Stay Home Safely. We look forward to hearing from you.

Maryland: (301) 444-4663
Virginia: (703) 832-8159
Washington, DC: (202) 792-7320