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Barrier Free Designs

What is Barrier Free?
Barrier Free is simply building a new home without steps or narrow pathways which would prove to be a barrier for some individuals. It is also sometimes called "Zero Step Entry." Another term some people use is "Universal Design." Universal Design is actually a bit more involved than simply removing the steps. This involves designing the house so that anyone would be able to use it and includes specifications for door knobs, light switches, plumbing fixtures and many other elements of the home.

Who Should Consider Barrier Free Designs?
Here at Maplewood Homes, we believe that almost everyone should at least consider it. One of the questions I ask my clients is if the home they are considering to build will be their "last" home. Do they plan to spend the rest of their lives in this house? If so I recommend that we build in at least 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom with wider doorways. Then, if possible, think about designing the house barrier free.

Another reason to consider barrier free is that you may have friends or relatives that would appreciate a more accessible house when they visit you. And finally, there is the issue of re-sale value. So even if you have no expectation of ever benefiting from the barrier free design, you find it more marketable when it is time to sell.

The key elements of a barrier free new home are:

  • Zero Step Entry at Front Door
  • Zero Step Entry from Garage
  • Wider Hallways Throughout the Home
  • Wider 3-0 Doors Throughout the Home