THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE
• Open floor plan to minimize hallways.
• Wide hallways and door openings for easy maneuverability.
• Light switches placed lower than standard.
• Outlets placed 6 inches higher than standard.
• Easy-grip lever-style door handles.
• No-rise thresholds on every entrance.
• Pocket doors eliminate swing in smaller spaces.
• Floor-to-ceiling windows provide a view for all heights.
• Stepless entries.
• Stairs with low risers and large treads. (Bjorklund uses a residential elevator.)
• Ample space to maneuver around appliances, cabinets and center island.
• Countertop heights and depths are varied.
• Microwave oven is built into a lower cabinet, not above stove. Cooktop knobs are in the front. A double oven has one low and one high door. Refrigerator is side-by-side.
• Pot-filler spigot behind cooktop.
• Easy-grasp cabinet pulls.
• Bottom cabinets have slide-out drawers to store stacked dishes and other supplies.
• Door-free, no-curb shower room with pull-down seat. Shower controls are easy to reach.
• Ample space in front of toilet and sink.
• Vanity with recessed area under the sink can accommodate a seated user.
• Tall "comfort-height" toilets.
• Reinforced walls that allow grab bars to be added later.
• Front-loading washer and dryer raised on a pedestal for ease in adding and removing clothes.
TO LEARN MORE
• Center for Universal Design, www.design.ncsu.edu/cud.
• Homeowner Kevin Bjorklund, 612-859-4990.
• "Universal Design Ideas for Style, Comfort & Safety" (RS Means, $21.95).
• "Residential Remodeling and Universal Design: Making Homes More Comfortable and Accessible" (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, $15). 1-800-245-2691. Free download at www.huduser.org/publications/destech/resid.html.
• "Universal Designed Smart Homes for the 21st Century," by Charles Schwab (Schwab Publishers, $39.95). www.universaldesign online.com.