Favorite Universal Design Features
Article written by Jim Cory about Dan Bawden
Dan Bawden, owner of Legal Eagle Contractors, in Houston, and one of the earliest CAPS-certified remodelers, lists his favorite universal design features.
- Lever handles for plumbing fixtures and door hardware.
- Light switches and thermostats lowered to 48 inches off the finish floor; outlets raised to 18 inches off the finished floor.
- Switches with push-button timers on all ventilation fans.
- Walk-in curbless showers with benches (tiled in or fold-down teak and stainless steel).
- Classy grab bars inside the shower/tub area.
- Shampoo niches at varying heights in the bathroom.
- Additional indirect lighting, such as under-cabinet and cope lighting, using dimmable LED fixtures or ribbons.
- Pocket doors with high-quality tracks and hardware.
- At least one section of kitchen countertop that’s lower — around 32 inches high.
- Full-extension drawer slides and self-closing hardware on both cabinet doors and drawers.
- Pull-down shelves in upper cabinets (in the kitchen).
- Doorways 32 inches to 36 inches wide when possible.
- Hallways 42 inches wide are optimal. Imagine carrying two suitcases down the hall.
- Ramped entrances integrated into landscaping that makes them disappear.
- Rails on both sides of stairs (often overlooked).
- Natural daylight via tubular skylights or insulated roof windows.
- Additional lighting at the main approach to the entry door most used.
—Jim Cory is a contributing editor to REMODELING .