Universal Design Modifications

A remodeling project is a great time to think about incorporating universal design concepts into the design to enhance the comfort, safety, and accessibility of your living spaces.

The term ‘universal design’ was coined by Ronald Mace, founder of The Center for Universal Design in Raleigh, NC. He defined universal design as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” In essence, design that is beneficial to people of all abilities and ages. For instance, home modifications to improve lighting, create stairless access to the home, or remodel the bathroom under universal design specifications improve the “visitability” of a home, allowing people of all ages and abilities to visit the home safely.

Are you a candidate for home modifications? What are home modifications?

“Home modifications” is a phrase used to describe the adaptation of the home to safety and accessibility. Home modifications can include installation of products such as safety handles, grab bars, or lifts, as well as structural changes to the home such as widening doors.

Elder Living Construction believes a good assessment process is a cornerstone to helping people plan and complete a modification project.  Below is a quick checklist of items that can help you communicate needs as you prepare for modifications required immediately or in the future. It is never too early to plan!

Contact us for a complete environmental accessibility assessment to determine what is necessary and what will work based on your individual need, physical or medical restrictions and cost parameters.

How does your home add up?

Aging In Place Modification Check List Yes or No
Does the home have an accessible route and safe egress into and out of the home?  
Can the home entry, garage or exit provide greater accessibility and safety?  
Does the home have more than one level, staircase or sunken areas that are difficult and that may be inaccessible to users – can these areas have improved access added?  
Does the home have smooth surfaces when entering or exiting and or throughout the home environment – can surfaces/flooring be changed to increase safety?
Does the home have the ability to increase the accessibility within the bathroom and bedroom?  
Do the doors need to be widened to accommodate a mobility aid?  
Does the home require improvements for health and safety – safe roof, windows, home alert or alarm system, improved lighting for interior and exterior, smoke detectors, safer electrical wiring and or up to code plumbing?
Does the home have an accessible kitchen-counter, cabinets and appliances – will theKitchen require changes for improved access?  
Does the home require an additional accessible bedroom or bathroom and can a room addition be added?  
Does the home require assistive technology or specialty products and devices forIncreased access and for improved mobility, lifting, transferring and getting up and down a stair case?  


We partner with the nursing and care community daily and will gladly schedule a meeting with family members, therapists and caregivers to ensure your needs are met. Call us today to schedule an assessment.