It depends. Doing a remodel? Yes – most homes were not built with universal design characteristics in the past, so retrofitting some homes will be a challenge financially. Building new? Not necessarily as costly. Planning for the basics of increased floor space, wide doorways, and no step entry upfront will make the process less costly.

Deciding where you want to mount outlets, light switches, towel bars, and heating/cooling controls for easy reach and visibility does not require extra cost. Nor does choosing colors for walls, flooring, trim, cabinetry and countertops. Types of switches, faucet hardware, door hardware, and cabinetry hardware are all easy and cost effective changes to make.

Adding anything custom will increase cost. Cabinetry/countertops, appliance type, and lighting may cost more. Yet, it’s important to think through how some of these features will increase the ability for someone to use the space based on the type of features chosen.

Keeping an open discussion with service providers about these features will be essential.

Posted in: About Universal Design