Universal and Accessible Design: Homes that Work for Everyone

Universal design, barrier free design, and accessible design, are all strategic ways to make an area safe and accessible for everyone regardless of age or ability.

Universal Design can create a stylish and practical a living space that can work for everyone. It also allows people to stay in their homes if, or when, their circumstances change, without the need for expensive renovations. A well-designed accessible unit doesn’t have to look different from a standard unit. Universal home design can be appealing to both those who need special features and those who don’t; therefore, maintaining marketability to a larger group.

More than 3.8 million Canadians have some form of a disability. Mobility, vision, and hearing issues can challenge many of us, and as we age, universally designed spaces can allow us to continue being part of our community and live our lives independently.

We can all benefit from accessibility when our family, friends and neighbours are able to fully participate in our lives by enjoying barrier free homes, workplaces, and communities, Great communities become even greater when everyone has equal access.

Creating a Universal home can happen at construction or during a renovation. Here are some examples of Universal design features that could be incorporated within your existing or new home:

• Widen doorways to accommodate mobility devices

• Lower light switches

• Add chairlifts to stairs

• Add Smart Home Devices that control doors, locks, lights, doorbell, blinds, etc.

• Install a curb-less walk-in shower with a bench.

Making modifications in your current home or deciding to make a move can feel like an overwhelming task- but it doesn’t have to be. Your local real estate expert can help you throughout this process to make it a smooth and easy transition. You may also be able to qualify for grants and / or tax credits to make your home more accessible. If you no longer need your accessible home let’s get it into the hands of someone who can use it to its full potential.

Check out my ad and all of the great resources in the new 2020 Edition of

Experience 50+ living 

If you’re looking to find a home with universal design, barrier free, or accessible living, or if you have any questions about modifying your current home, please contact:

Amy Essington, Realtor ®

Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty

14-1470 Harvey Avenue

Kelowna BC, V1Y 9K8


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