Remodeling your home is one of the best ways to increase its value. Before starting to work on a project to give a facelift to your home, consider whether you want to use your property for a long time or have elderly family members who would prefer aging in place to facility care.

If you have parents or close relatives (can be in-laws or uncles or aunts) who want to age in place, you must look for ways to create separate spaces for privacy and independent living. Look for a local remodeling contractor near you who can create an environment that can be understood and accessed by all people irrespective of their age, ability/disability, size, and any other factor that can impact access.

Here are some common Universal Design considerations to keep in mind when remodeling your home.


  • Make sure your entrances have at least 32 inches of clear width. This will require a 36-inch wide door.
  • Use contrasting colors in flooring to help people with vision problems move around and find their way safely.
  • Ensure good lighting throughout your home.
  • Make sure there are no steps up or down between spaces. There should be at least one entrance without steps.
  • There should be flush thresholds to minimize trip hazards.
  • Install thermostatic or anti-scald controls throughout the property.
  • The doorbell should be placed in an accessible location and mounted at an accessible height.
  • Install an anterior sensor light at the entrance. The light should focus on the door lock.
  • When installing windows, lower them. Alternatively, opt for taller windows with easy-to-use hardware.


  • Consider installing pedestal sinks as they are easier to navigate around than traditional sinks.
  • Look for lower-level vanities or adjustable height wall vanity that accommodates users of all ages and abilities.
  • Add a fold-down or portable seat to your shower.
  • Install a curbless shower designed to prevent falls.
  • Install a toilet that is 2-½ inches higher than a standard toilet (usually 17-19 inches high).
  • Tub and shower controls should be located near the entrance.
  • Provide sturdy supports in the walls to ensure the easy and hassle-free installation of grab bars.


  • Provide additional (at least 5 foot by 5 foot) clear/turn space. Interior doors must be at least 36 inches wide.
  • Install additional task lighting in work areas.
  • Install levered door handles that provide better access.
  • Install non-slip flooring to prevent falls.
  • Countertop edges and corners should be rounded off.
  • Lower cabinets should have lazy Susans.
  • Make sure the height of upper cabinets is three inches less than conventional height.
  • Appliances must have easy-to-read controls.

Looking for a Universal Design expert that can give a facelift to your property while making it accessible for people of all ages and abilities? Look no further than Fondare Finish Construction. We have spent years studying Universal Design principles. Our unparalleled expertise gives us a competitive edge. To discuss your remodeling project, call us at 707-293-9241.