P.O. Box 1044 Brookfield, WI 53008-1044 414-412-4874

Barrier Free Homes

Universal, Barrier-Free, Accessible Design

These terms all embody the same idea –comfort and ease of use for all – for all ages and ranges of ability – for the young, the old, the able-bodied, and the physically challenged.

It's about planning for the future – the future of you through your lifetime, your family, and everyone who may enter your home. Even if you, your friends, and family are all able-bodied, when building or renovating your home it's wise to plan for changes in mobility and cognition that could be caused by a sudden accident, illness, or aging. The ultimate objective is providing a home where all are welcome and comfortable.

Principles of Universal Design

The principles of universal design include:

  • Making it equal for people of all ages and abilities
  • Keeping it simple and intuitive no matter what the user's experience, knowledge, and cognitive abilities
  • Providing enough space for approach and use no matter what the person's size, posture, or mobility
  • Flexibility of use for a broad range of abilities and preferences
  • Building in tolerance for error with fail safe features and warnings of hazards and errors
  • Minimizing physical effort
  • Communicating information that is easily perceived by all no matter what the conditions or sensory abilities
  • MD Custom Homes – THE custom home builders and renovators of Southeastern Wisconsin are committed to helping you give access to all.

Universal Design in the Home

Examples of universal design in the home

  • Level outdoor entry way with no steps and level flooring throughout the home
  • Tables and counters of varying heights to accommodate standing or sitting
  • Grab bars in the shower and beside the toilet (or including strong walls that will accommodate such features in the future)
  • Enough space to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter in all rooms, hallways, and doorways
  • Pull out trays, shelves, drawers
  • Ovens and dishwashers that are raised to an appropriate height
  • Lever door handles
  • Adjustable shower heads
  • User-friendly appliances
  • An internal elevator or space to install one when necessary

And there's no need to worry that these accommodations will affect the aesthetics of your home. True universal design has contemporary appeal. Designs can be both sensible and stylish, practical and pretty. Universal design represents product solutions that are intuitive and elegant.

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