Accessible Pathways & Entrances:
❑ Provide a clear obstacle free at least 48” wide walkway to front doorway from the vehicle parking area, and sidewalk.
❑ Provide at least one no-step entrance to the home which may be accomplished with careful grading of the walkway run. This can also be a side entry as well.
❑ Walkway grading should not exceed a pitch or angle producing 1 foot of rise for every 20 feet in length.
❑ Install secure handrails on steps and porches where needed.
❑ Covered overhang at entranceway for inclement weather protection.
❑ Optional package shelf at front entrance way for parcels, groceries, etc.
❑ High-visibility, 6" or more, address numbers, illuminated if possible.
❑ Front door should be 36" wide and a maximum ½" high threshold with beveled top edges.
❑ Lever-set easy to grasp front door handles with dual-function release deadbolt preferred.
❑ Provide a 5'x 5' level clear space both outside and inside of main entry doorway to provide adequate present, or future wheelchair user space.
❑ Full-length sidelights(s) at entry, or window in door to see visitors, or double peepholes, one at normal height, and the second at 42" height.
❑ Install a front doorbell able to be heard throughout house. Also consider a bright LED flashing light for those with a hearing impairment.
Interior Features Throughout:
❑ In multi-story homes consider locating a bedroom & full bathroom on the ground floor, and also stacking two large closets which can be later used as a future shaftway for an elevator installation.
❑ All doors to rooms and closets to be 34” minimum clear width.
❑ All floor thresholds should not exceed ½" height and have beveled top edges.
❑ Provide easy-to-grasp lever style door handles throughout @ 36”ht. c.c
❑ Use lightweight interior doors with about five-pounds of force needed to open.
❑ Provide 18" minimum space beside in-swing latch side of doorways.
❑ All hallways to be at least 42" to 48" minimum clear width. (minimum 48” clear width for VA Specially Adapted Housing)
❑ Use commercial grade, non-slip, easy to maintain flooring surfaces such as low pile or tight loop carpeting installed over thin commercial type padding throughout the home. (Avoid using VOC materials).
❑ Avoid small throw rugs. Large area rugs should have anti-slip backing.
❑ Window sills in living, dining, and bedroom areas should be 30" height maximum from finished floor.
❑ Install non-glare skylights to provide daylighting wherever possible.
❑ Thermostats should have large print easily readable numbers and controls, and mounted at 53" height from finished floor to center of thermostat (48" height for wheelchair user).
❑ Provide adjustable height poles and shelves in all closets.
❑ Avoid floor elevation changes in rooms throughout house.
❑ Select furniture that has rounded corners, and properly scaled for each room to allow easy movement. Select furniture of the correct firmness, and easy to get in and out of.
❑ Employ the use of color contrast between door jambs & adjacent walls. Use light colors, or off whites on all walls. Avoid dark colors.
❑ Install automatic-on, automatic-off night lights in bathrooms and pathway leading from bedrooms to bathrooms, and stairways. (Amber non-glare type)
❑ Select high energy-efficient appliances and products throughout the home.
❑ Choose all products and finishes that minimize maintenance and upkeep. Select sustainable materials that do not produce (VOC's) volatile organic gases.
Lighting and Electrical Throughout the Home:
❑ Provide good low or non glare producing lighting to illuminate exterior paths to and at all entrances.
❑ All areas and rooms to have high quality Energy Star rated bright but glare free LED general illumination and task lighting. All light fixtures to be 3000 to 3500 kelvin color temperature. (2700 or lower kelvin color temperature is too low and can cause vision impaired accidents.)
❑ All electrical wall outlets to be grounded type and mounted at 12” to 16" height from finished floor to center of outlet.
❑ All light switches to be large rocker-type, preferably illuminated type. Locate at the entrance of each room, within easy reach, and mounted at 42" height from finished floor to center of switch.
❑ Install energy-saving "automatic vacancy sensor" wall switches in bathrooms and closets with a manual-on or motion sensor automatic on, and automatic time-delay off feature when the room or closet becomes vacant. (Comply with Title 24 Regs). This also applies to exhaust fan switches in bathrooms and laundry.
❑ Provide telephone jacks in all rooms mounted at 12" to 16" height from finished floor to center of outlet. Consider wall mounted phones in bathroom, laundry, and kitchen for convenience and safety.
❑ All light fixtures and window treatments should provide glare-free lighting and overall balanced general illumination.
❑ Install automatic on-time delay off night lights in bathrooms and pathway leading from bedrooms to bathrooms. This also applies to stairways.
❑ Consider installing glare free skylights & light tubes to bring in natural daylight.
❑ Provide a 5' diameter clear open space in kitchen to accommodate a wheelchair user or visitor.
❑ An L or U-shaped counter with the sink, cook-top, and oven works best and allows moving heavy or hot items safely. Countertop should be 34” to 36" height from finished floor.
❑ Vary kitchen counter heights when applicable, for easy use by both tall and short family members.
❑ Use easy to maintain countertops such as laminate, quartz, or other durable materials. Try to avoid very dark colors. Granite looks great, but is porous and has tobe periodically sealed. If Ceramic or Porcelain tile is used, make sure to use epoxy or self-sealing type grout is used, as regular grout is porous and collects mold.
❑ Radius or bevel all counter corners for safety and consider contrasting border edge color to improve visibility for anyone with sight impairment.
❑ Provide at least 18" to 24" of clear countertop surface at both sides of cook-top and sink, and at least 24" of clear countertop surface at one side of refrigerator and built-in oven.
❑ Cabinets should have full VOC-free construction. Avoid materials containing Formaldehyde. All lower cabinets to have full extension drawers instead of doors and fixed shelves, except under sink and cooktop which should be open for a seated person or wheelchair user. (see below).
❑ Sink & cook-top lower cabinets to have a clear open space underneath approximately 30"wide x 27"high x 19" deep.
❑ Cabinet doors and drawers should be easy to open and have easy-to-grasp handles or knobs.
❑ When installing doors in front of sink and cooktop, use 170 degree hinges on cook-top and sink cabinet doors to allow maximum barrier-free access.
❑ Heat insulate all exposed hot water and waste drain lines.
❑ Mount upper cabinets at 15" height from counter top instead of standard 18" height.
❑ Consider the option of using glass door upper cabinets for good content visibility.
❑ Dishwasher unit to be elevated at least 6" height from finished floor to eliminate back strain.
❑ Wall-mounted oven should be installed at height so that center of control panel is about 48" from finished floor, and center shelf is about level with adjacent countertop. Select self-cleaning and convection features. Oven should have easy to read (see) and operate controls.
❑ Provide heat resistant surface counter-top adjacent to oven for easy and safe transfer of hot dishes from oven, or a tile faced pull out under-oven ledge.
❑ Consider using a free-standing microwave unit set on counter-top for ease of use. Over-range units are too high and are potentially dangerous.
❑ Cook-top to have easy-to-reach, see, and grasp front, or toward front side located controls.
❑ Floors, walls, and cabinet sides under sink and cook-top to have finished surfaces.
❑ Sink should be minimum 18 gauge stainless steel with 6" deep basins and drains offset to rear.
❑ Faucet to be single-lever, or ergonomic dual handle, high arc type with pull-out spray head. Consider the Moen "Touchless" high arc faucet.
❑ Install a whole-house anti-scald valve at outlet line side of main hot water heater, set at 110 degrees maximum. (100 degrees for people with spinal cord injuries)
❑ Install exhaust fans in bathrooms, with correct airflow capacity, very quiet operation features, and Energy Star rating. (Panasonic "WhisperGreen" fans work great).
❑ Mount kitchen exhaust fan control switch at front of counter or where accessible for easy reach when seated. Provide means of conditioned outside air makeup with same air flow cfm as the exhaust fan.
❑ Provide bright, glare-free 3000 kelvin LED linear lighting under upper cabinets to illuminate counters in the kitchen.
❑ Provide high quality LED fluorescent recessed or surface ambient lighting fixtures in 3000 kelvin to 3500 kelvin color temperature in kitchen for good even general or ambient illumination.
❑ Select easy-to-maintain, water and slip resistant floor surface materials in light color which is preferred for kitchen, laundry, and bathrooms.
❑ Mount a grease fire fighting type fire extinguisher in an easy-to-reach location in kitchen. Have unit periodically serviced.
❑ Bathroom entry door should be 34" to 36” width.
❑ Provide a 5' diameter clear space in bathrooms, or a T-shaped 3'x 5' with 2'x5'-T space.
❑ Resilient floor surface material is recommended such as contract or commercial grade, no-wax, slip-resistant sheet vinyl in light color. Try to avoid using ceramic tile for floor, counters, and shower walls, as an accident fall on same can cause serious injury or death.
❑ Provide in-wall plywood or blocking reinforcement to allow later installation of grab-bars with 250# load support capacity around all tub, toilet, and shower walls.
❑ Install heavy duty towel bars securely mounted in case of need to grasp during a fall.(250# minimum load support).
❑ Bathroom sink cabinets to have 30" wide x 27"high x 19" deep clear open space underneath to allow a seated person to easily use.
❑ Insulate exposed hot water and waste lines under sink, or hide behind easily removable panel, or full swingaway doors.
❑ Single lever or ergonomic dual lever sink faucet with anti-scald valve in hot side set at 120 degrees maximum. (If not already installed in main hot water heater outlet line) (set at 100 degrees for people with diabetes neuropathy spinal cord injuries)
❑ Mount mirrors and medicine cabinet with bottoms directly above sink rear backsplash height to allow easy use when seated.
❑ Bathtub to have non-slip bottom, and a 24" minimum full length seated drying space alongside when possible.
❑ Offset mount bathtub lever type controls near to the entry side of the tub, when possible, to facilitate easy and safe use.
❑ Install an anti-scald valve set at 120 degrees maximum for hot water line in tub. (If not already installed in main hot water heater outlet line)
(set at 100 degrees for people with spinal cord injuries)
❑ Provide a curb-less shower unit with minimum 34" wide by 60" long non-slip base, and when possible, sufficient room for an optional 48" x 60" unit.
❑ Offset mount single lever type shower control mounted near entry to shower. Mount control valve at 38" to 40" height measured from center of control knob or handle to finished floor.
❑ Shower spray unit to have a 6' long flexible hose and detachable hand held shower head with water shut-off button or lever on head. Mount on a secure heavy duty vertical slider bar unit, able to support a 250lb load.
❑ All shower walls to have "in-wall" plywood or blocking reinforcement to allow later installation of grab-bars (minimum 250lb load support capacity).
❑ Avoid using ceramic tile in bathrooms to prevent grout mold buildup, especially shower, and tub surround. Select materials that facilitate ease of cleaning and maintenance. Tile, although may be beautiful, is dangerous when wet, and most fall injuries and fatalities occur in the bathroom.
❑ Install exhaust fan with correct airflow capacity, and quiet DC powered energy-smart motor, controlled by a separate vacancy sensing switch with an automatic motion sensing on, or "manual-on and automatic timed-delay off feature". (Must comply with Title 24).
❑ Lighting: Linear or compact fluorescent fixtures using 2-lamp, 48" long surface mounted wrap around acrylic diffuser light fixture, with electronic ballast and T8, 3500k to 4100k lamps, or decorative wall mounted compact fluorescent light fixture using a minimum of (4) - 13 watt compact fluorescent lamps, or (2) 26 watt compact fluorescent lamps. Mount directly above vanity mirror. Recessed "can" type light fixture above shower and/or tub light fixtures to be moisture resistant type with compact fluorescent lamp.
❑ Toilet to be elongated16-1/2" to 17-1/2" height to top of seat, "comfort height" type unit.
❑ All closets should have height adjustable poles and shelving
❑ Provide good fluorescent lighting in all closets . Mount switch directly adjacent to and outside the closet doorway for ease of use
❑ Closet doorway to be at least 36" clear opening width minimum.
❑ Provide high quality fluorescent ceiling mounted general illumination light fixtures in each bedroom in addition to table-top and wall mounted task lighting. Consider Energy Star fan/light combo units.
❑ Provide 36 "clear space on two sides of the bed and 60" clear on the closet side.
❑ Provide a telephone jack near the bed in the master bedroom.
❑ Bed mattress height should not exceed 22" from finished floor to mattress top for easy entry and exit.