Kurk Homes Blog

What Is Universal Design

June 15, 2017

Universal Design is a way of strategizing a plan, or modifying a home, to maximize accessibility for any person that may have physical restrictions now or in the future.

Listen to an “Aging in Place” podcast featuring Chris McGinley of Kurk Homes and Stream Fifty Plus Radio Host Doug Pike. Start at 27:19 to hear universal design tips for custom homes:

Chris McGinley, Kurk Homes CEO, also the past chair of the 50+ housing council for Greater Houston Builders Association, featured in this podcast focusing on universal design and “aging in place.” He is pictured above, with our grandparents and the co-founder of Kurk Homes, Mr. Chester Kurk, honored in our former blog’s July post.

Originally covered in our September 2016 Blog:

What is Universal Design? And who does it benefit?

Universal Design is a way of strategizing a plan, or modifying a home, to maximize accessibility for any person that may have physical restrictions now or in the future. This means elderly individuals, as well as someone who may be short- or long-term physically injured or disabled.

Bathrooms are specifically targeted, as they are the primary source of injuries in the home for any age, with over an astonishing 80% of injuries. Listed below are some alterations to make during the design phase that could ensure your home could really be suitable for a lifetime.

Safety, Convenience, and Comfort Features

Bathrooms

• Walk-in bathtub options
• Sloped and recessed (no ledge or step) oversized showers
• Additional hardware “grab bars” in showers and commode rooms
• Handheld shower head and built-in shower seat
• Comfort height commodes

Throughout

• Additional and increased lighting, especially in transitions between rooms and differing floor heights
• Sloped or ramped porch entry in lieu of steps
• Non-slick flooring on interior of home as well as sidewalks and patios
• Open concept living
• 3’0 wide or larger doors, entries, and exterior walkways
• Lowered countertops, outlets, and switches
• Zoned HVAC, multiple thermostats
• Lever hardware instead of round knobs

Example Plan

Here is an example of an open concept plan with features of Universal Design, designed by Kurk Homes. We originally created this plan with the idea of building a secondary structure on a property so that physically challenged loved ones could have the security of being close by, but still maintain independent living.

 

Kurk Homes Exterior Elevation

 

Kurk Homes Floor Plan

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