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What Are Handicap Accessible Homes/Universal Design Homes?

Amelia Island, FL, Jacksonville, FL & Waycross, GA.
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What Are Handicap Accessible Homes/Universal Design Homes?

When you’re building a new custom home in Florida or Georgia, you have an enormous number of details to consider. When you rely on Cayman Builders for your energy-efficient new home, however, you get a team of professionals who have your back. They take care of things you may not have thought of, such as planning for a universal design home that you can growing old in. These houses have good accessible features, if you have a relative in a wheelchair or a child with a disability that may worsen. It’s always best to design universal design protocols into the construction process, rather than retrofitting them in later. Call Cayman Builders to learn about the many handicap-accessible features they can build into your new house.

Why Should I Consider a Universal Design Home?

There are many things to consider when building a new home, including whether the home has a design that’s welcoming to everyone. Universal design features work for you, your family and guests, no matter how old or young. A custom-built home allows you to accommodate all your needs, something not available in previously owned homes, where you need to retrofit the accommodations for your requirements.

In addition to building in any accessible needs you have now, when your intent is to have a forever home, it’s always a good idea to consider aging and future disability. Challenges you or your loved ones may face at some point in the future can be as simple as a broken leg or as serious as living with a permanent disability.

A universal design home describes a handicap accessible home, which is fully ADA-compliant, as set out by the Americans with Disabilities Act. At Cayman Builders, the quality new homes are custom-built to your specifications. Whether you’re currently living with a disability, trying to accommodate visits from aging relatives or planning for aging in place, designing and personalizing your new home can include making them customizable to your individual handicap needs.

What Are Some Features of Universal Design Homes?

Universal design homes provide an enhanced living environment that’s just as attractive as standard designs. Homeowners of all ages can benefit from thoughtfully designed floor plans that accommodate people of all ages and abilities. Some common features of universal design homes include:

  • Wider doorways and hallways to accommodate wheelchairs
  • Open floor plan designs
  • Barrier free, one-story living
  • No-step entry into the home
  • Good lighting
  • Light switches, thermostats and outlets placed in accessible locations
  • Level door handles that can be turned without much hand strength
  • Extra floor space

When you’re not living with a disability, it’s easy to overlook features that may become problematic later on. Features of a universal design home offer safety and convenience while empowering people to be as independent as possible.

What’s in a Handicap-Accessible Kitchen?

For a kitchen to be as user-friendly for as many people as possible, there are several features that can help. Items to consider for a handicap accessible kitchen include:

  • Varied height cabinets and countertops
  • Pull-down shelves in upper cabinets
  • Pulls instead of knobs on drawers and cabinets
  • Open space under the sink or prep counter to allow for a wheelchair
  • Ground-level cabinets
  • Extra floor space to provide plenty of room to maneuver

Flooring should be comfortable and slip resistant. Install adequate task lighting or motion sensor lighting and maximize natural lighting whenever it’s feasible. Many ENERGY STAR® appliances come with accessible features such as large digital displays, different types of cooking surfaces and multiple safety features.

What Are Some Features of a Handicap-Accessible Bathroom?

The first step toward a universal design home is to make sure there’s a bathroom on the first floor. To be handicap-compliant, it has wide doors and room inside to turn a wheelchair around. Other features in a handicap-accessible bathroom include:

  • An adjustable height shower head or multiple shower heads
  • Easy access showers or a curbless shower
  • Handrails installed throughout the bathroom
  • ADA-approved toilets
  • Lowered or easily accessible sinks
  • A towel hook next to the shower
  • Empty space underneath sinks for a wheelchair
  • Smart home programmable features for lights and water temperature

There must be open space around the sink, and the door shouldn’t swing into that space. Faucets and knobs should be usable with one hand. For added convenience, consider electronically controlled devices.

Where Can I Find Out More About Handicap Accessible/Universal Design Homes?

In Waycross, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida, Cayman Builders provides homeowners with custom-built homes fully accessible to suit your needs, now and in the future. They have designers and architects on the team who help you design the perfect spaces for you. They think of features you may not have even considered. Universal design home plans make sense for nearly everyone. Features of universal design homes may be needed when you least expect it, and they can be largely invisible to the casual observer.

When you’re interested in a home that’s ADA-compliant, you need a builder that offers customizable floor plans and flexible designs. With Cayman Builders, you can create a dream home that works best for the unique needs of you and your family. And you won’t sacrifice energy efficiency with handicap accessibility when you work with the best in the industry. To learn about customized universal design homes built on your lot or as part of a move-in-ready development, contact Cayman Builders today.