February 23, 2023

Ways to Make Your Home More Accessible

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Making your home accessible with universal design creates a more inviting and functional environment for people of all ages and abilities. According to the CDC, 26% of adults in the United States live with a form of disability that impacts major life activities.

By adding accessibility design elements, you’re allowing your space to shift with your own needs. And when it comes time to sell, your home can be marketed to a variety of customers and needs.

What is Universal Design?

Universal design is an architectural concept focused on creating environments that are usable for everyone, regardless of a person’s age or ability level. Homes modified or built with universal design can assist in creating safer homes that assist in maintaining a person’s level of independence. This can be achieved numerous ways, all of which facilitate accessibility, which is the degree to which someone can use a space with or without assistance.

Open Space and Rooms

An open-concept designed space is an easy way to make high-traffic areas accessible, such as the kitchen, living, and dining rooms. Wheelchairs require five feet of turnaround space, so having wide gaps with a clear flow of movement is essential.

Doorways and Entryways

A large wood door with a no step entry.

Using a stroller, carrying your groceries, or using mobility aids can make using stairs difficult—especially if it’s the only way into your home. Experts recommend ensuring at least one entrance does not have steps, also known as a no-step entry.

To ensure wheelchair users have enough space, entry ways should be at least 32 inches when the door is fully open. Many designers recommend a 36-to-42-inch threshold for openings instead, allowing people to pilot their wheelchairs without hand injury.

Home Automation and Smart Technology

The rise of smart technology has drastically improved the lives of homeowners. By remotely controlling a home’s HVAC system, lighting, window treatments, security, and doors, a person can have full control over their home without any ability barriers.

Bathroom Design

Using grab bars around the toilet, bathtub, and shower ensures those with mobility and balance concerns can be as independent as possible. In addition, using an open shower with no curb or lip and includes a bench and multiple shower head options creates a safe environment for everyone.


White track lighting above a window.

Home lighting can be enhanced several ways to accommodate numerous needs. Rocker-style switches are more accessible for people with mobility needs or reduced motor skills. Installing track lighting where work occurs, such as behind the stove or sink in the kitchen or in hobby areas, are great for people with vision impairments. Using motion sense lighting around staircases and bathrooms can reduce a person’s falls and encourage peace of mind when visibility is low.


A few changes can make your kitchen fully accessible for all abilities. For example, by removing lower cabinets, a wheelchair can easily roll throughout the space and make use of counters. Using open shelving allows all family members to see what’s available to use. Moving smaller appliances like toasters or microwaves to a lower height can permit a person to cook more easily.

Ensure Your Home Needs are Met

Two people signing ASL in their home.

Your home should change with your needs. Our FHA 203k Renovation loan programs can be used for both minor and major non-structural adjustments for your current house or a new purchase. The HomeStyle® Renovation loan can be used for new purchases that include money for improvements and renovations.

If you’re looking to renovate your home to be more accessible, reach out to us! One of our dedicated and experienced Loan Originators will work closely with you to make your home financing dreams come true.

Ready to get started?

McGlone Mortgage Group offers exceptional customer service and a convenient mortgage process. Whatever your financing needs, our goal is to exceed your expectations.

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