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Remodeling and Home Design

Barrier Free Living

August 24, 2015 / News

Accessible CooktopThis past summer, new building code changes went into effect, including a requirement that the main level of a home be accessible for a wheelchair in both new construction and remodels. The good news is that BRHI has always incorporated universal design features such as this in our projects. In fact, many remodeling design trends have a lot in common with universal design, making barrier free living both standard and a sought after luxury.


Some of the most popular bath design trends — large, walk-in showers without doors, boutique tiles, versatile shower sprays — fit right in with designs that make showers safe, accessible and comfortable to use. Even wall niches that create a custom design double as accessible storage for both children and adults. Comfort height toilets are another luxury that also removes barriers. With a higher seat between 16 and 17 inches above the floor, these toilets are ideal for tall residents, the elderly and those with mobility issues.

Custom Cabinetry

Throughout the home, cabinets do double-duty as both a unique design statement and universal design feature. Built-ins and wall-mounted cabinets create a custom look, while also providing open floor space to accommodate homeowners and guests with wheelchairs, walkers and canes. Wall-mounted cabinets also leave floor spaces clear and easy to clean. Walk-in closets with built-in drawers, pull-out trays and multi-height hang bars help keep everything organized and easily accessible.

Entryways, Stairs and Flooring

Steps, steep walkways, doorways and other structural features that make it impossible to use a wheelchair to get in, out or around the house. Ramps provide a gradual slope up into your home, and interior stair lifts can allow access between floors. We also use smooth, low-profile thresholds to ease transitions between different types of flooring, such as hardwood-to-tile.

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