Greenville - Blog

Universal Design Checklist: Renovating for a “HomeFit” Home

AARP has identified specific design elements and safety features (referred to as universal design) that enable people to live safely, comfortably and independently for as long as possible. If you’re interested in developing a smart, age-friendly home that will be comfortable in any phase of life, here’s a checklist to guide you with a planned home renovations.

Entrances & Exits

  • Clearly visible house number so the home can be easily located by emergency responders

  • Exterior pathways clear of any slipping hazards

  • Entrances free of clutter

  • No-step doorway thresholds

  • Handrails on both sides of all steps

  • Doorways at least 36″ wide

  • Exterior lighting at all entrances

  • Outdoor light fixtures with motion-detecting or automatic on/off sensors

  • Peephole, viewing panel or security system at entry doors

  • Secure slide latch or chain inside entry doors

  • Easy-to-use lever-style door handles

  • Table near the entrance to place packages while locking/unlocking the door

Steps & Stairways

  • Secure handrails on both sides of stairs, placed at a user-appropriate height and properly secured to the walls

  • Switches to stairway light at both the top and bottom of the stairs

  • Stair treads in good condition

  • Uncarpeted non-slip steps

  • Stairs clear of clutter

  • Carpeted steps with tightly woven low-pile carpet with thin padding, no busy patterns

  • Automatic night-lights near steps and staircases

In the Kitchen

  • Easy-to-access cabinets

  • Pull-out beneath counter, Lazy Susans in corner cabinets

  • Task lighting for the sink, stove, kitchen countertops and other work areas

  • Lever-, touch- or sensor-style faucets

  • Pressure-balanced, temperature-regulated sink faucets kept at or below 120°F

  • Easy-to-grasp D-shaped pulls and handles on cabinets and drawers

  • No-slip floors

  • Easy-to-see colored or backlit stove or cooktop controls at the front of the device

  • Work surfaces can be accessed while seated

Living Room & Bedroom

  • Furniture allowing for clear, wide passageways

  • Electrical and phone cords kept out of the way

  • Rocker-style light switches between 36″ and 44″, and electrical outlets 18″ to 24″ from the floor

  • Bed placed to allow easy access to the bathroom

  • Large area rugs secured to floor with double-sided tape or nonslip mats

  • Natural light during daylight hours

  • Interior lights and adjustable rods and shelves in closets

Bathroom

  • Water heater set at or below 120°F to avoid scalding

  • Higher, comfort-height toilet model

  • Unplug appliances  when not in use, never use near a filled sink or tub

  • Sink, bathtub and shower faucets with easy-to-use lever handles

  • Grab bars in the tub, shower, and adjacent to the toilet

  • Rubber-backed rugs

  • Bathtub and/or shower floor with nonskid mat or nonslip strips

  • No-step shower entry

  • Shower seating to bathe while seated

  • Handheld or adjustable showerhead

  • Exposed pipes insulated to protect against touching a hot pipe

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Greenville can help you with your bathroom or kitchen remodeling project, bringing together a cohesive and beautiful universal design for your remodel. Our full-service remodeling approach focuses on delivering a design that meets your specific needs. For further questions and help with your home remodeling projects, call us at (864) 214-0296 or reach out to us online today.

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