Accessible Home Design | NC Custom Home Builders Tips
Open the door to accessibility: Front entrance features
An accessible or universal design home is more welcoming and practical when its advantages start at the front door.
Accessible Home Design: Front Entrance
Opening your home to accessibility begins with the ability to get inside, whether the entire home will be built to an accessible home design, or you just need to plan your entry so that others with special needs are able to visit.
Here are the top ten touches NC custom home builders can install without a lot of cost.
1. Visible House Numbers
Accessible Home Design Tip #1 - Make the address easy to find
Use large numbers, and place them where they are clearly visible from the street. Make sure they’re in a place where landscaping won’t overgrow them.
Check with your NC custom home builder about placement of home numbers. If all the houses have numbers in the same location, you’ll want to follow that rule. Emergency personnel may find your home more easily if they know exactly where to look for the number.
2. Illuminated House Numbers
Accessible Home Design Tip #2 – Light up your life
If your street has poor lighting, consider luminous numbers or a decorative spotlight for nighttime clarity.
If there are no homeowner association restrictions regarding location, consider placing numbers next to a carriage light or other fixture.
3. Shelf or Niche for Packages
Accessible Home Design Tip #3 - A Place for Everything
Your NC custom home builders can add a handy place to put things, such as a recessed niche or wall-mounted shelf next to the front entry. This can be a great help when trying to find keys to unlock the front door. Consider adding one just INSIDE the door too!
Accessible Home Design Tip #4 – Add a place to rest
A built-in bench is a nice touch that allows a place to sit. Every accessible home design is even more delightful if it allows for outdoor enjoyment. And a bench on the front porch can also double as a spot to set things.
5. Extra Wide Entry Door
Accessible Home Design Tip #5 - Making an Easy Entrance
Accessible entry doors installed by NC custom home builders should be at least 36 inches wide. For further accessibility, doors should be expanded to 42 or 48 inches for mobility devices.
Alternatively, you can consider 5 or 6 foot wide double-entry doors. An extra wide entry door isn’t just handy for wheelchairs and caregivers – it also allows easier access for furniture moving.
6. Clear Space
Accessible Home Design Tip #6 - Room to maneuver
NC custom home builders will make sure that entries have at least 18" of clear space on the pull side of the door. In the Raleigh area, most entry doors swing inside the home, so a well designed accessible home design will usually allow for landing space on both the inside and the outside of the front door.
7. Flat, Level Entry
Accessible Home Design Tip #7 – Leveling the field
Accessible home designs do not include steps at the front entry. NC custom home builders recommend a poured foundation rather than a crawl space.
A crawl space foundation home can have a level entry, but there may be additional costs for site work such as grading, adding/removing soil, or retaining walls. A ramp entry is a popular option.
8. Minimum Landing Space
Accessible Home Design Tip #8 - Room to Turn Around
NC custom home builders will make sure that a front entry has a minimum 5x5 footprint. This allows enough room for a mobility device to maneuver in and out. Most accessible home design options include a larger porch.
Accessible Home Builders Tip #9 - Easy to use doorbell
An illuminated doorbell is ideal for an accessible home design. NC custom home builders will also install it at a lower level where it can be easily reached from a wheelchair or mobility device.
10. Landscape Lighting
Accessible Home Builders Tip #10 - Light up the Night
Exterior lights are common in all homes. But in an accessible home design you will often find multiple sources. Overhead lights, carriage lights, wall scones and fixtures that have more than one bulb are all possibilities.
Recessed lighting is another great option for a front porch. It’s a clean look that will also add curb appeal.
Front Entry Tips from Accessible Home Builders
Talk to your NC custom home builder about specific needs, and learn how an accessible design home can make things easier for everyone, without a lot of changes to your lifestyle.
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