flexiblefullpage - default
billboard - default

How to Talk to Customers About Universal Design: Don’t

November 19, 2015

Designer Amy Turnage with BuilderFish explains the secret to incorporating Universal Design features into a home's design: Just call it good design

Universal Design is a method for future-proofing a home from the user's standpoint. But it is far more universal than its popular monikers—"Aging-in-Place" and "Handicapped Accessible'—imply.

Both evoke nursing homes and sterile institutions, whereas a good UD home is a better place for people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities top live, work, and play.


"Normally I will show them curb-less showers, wider hallways, three-foot doorways, no-step entries, and generally [they] will tend to prefer the look over traditional homes."

I make suggestions based on convenience and look. I will say 'Here are things that are trending now' "

... such as suggesting lower countertops for people with kids.

Or pointing out that countertops of different heights are easier to work at for baking or for people who are any size other than that of the crash-test-dummies in the dimension diagrams in architectural text books.

Turnage notes that Universal Design details may also appeal to those who prefer modern design because of the open feel of a UD house.

There are many reasons to suggest UD aspects, like fitting the refrigerator through the door, an open plan, or a cleaner look "... but I don’t talk about it as Universal Design" she says.

She just calls it better.

BuilderFish (Fine Innovative Sustainable Homes) specializes in private service of estates and dream homes in Northern Virginia.

catfish1 - default