5 Ways to Go Universal

Posted by Ben Thompson on 10.21.09

Right now we're 3 days into a 10 day universal bathroom retrofit.  We finalized the agreement last Friday and then we started on Monday.  It made me so happy to be so efficient in our design process and then to have the resources to get the job done immediately.   If "universal" is a new word to you, it just means making a bathroom so easy to use literally ANYONE could use it.  Here's how we're helping this particular client:

1) We went from an acrylic tub shower combination (you have to step to get into it) and replaced it with a Vikrell shower unit.  The step over the curb is just 4" and is very easy to get in and out.

2) We added a 36" custom height grab bar IN the shower plus grab bars outside the shower, to get into the house up the garage steps, and near the toilets.

3) Added (2) stair tread lights to make navigating stairs easier.

4) Replaced the standard size toilets with comfort height, elongated toilets.

5) Code now requires a continuous handrail down staircases.  This takes some tricky geometry and some super crafty carpentry that TRI carpenters can handle.  Presently, there are two different railings that don't connect on the curve of the existing staircase making carrying a cup of tea downstairs a bit tricky.

Another tip or two: Toggle (standard) light switches can be traded out with "decora" flat light switches that do not require gripping.  Just bang them and there is light.  It's just about as simple as The Clapper.  Also, door levers are easier to operate than door knobs.
Maybe it's time for someone you know to go Universal!

Topics: Love Where You Live, Universal