Custom Homes

As we design and build custom homes in the greater Tulsa area, we understand the importance of creating a living environment that accommodates people of all ages, abilities, and stages of life. Universal Design, a design philosophy aimed at making spaces accessible and comfortable for everyone, has become a vital aspect of custom home construction. At Banner Custom Homes, we strive to ensure our clients have the opportunity to create homes that are not only beautiful and functional but also inclusive and adaptable to their future needs.

Today, let’s explore the principles of Universal Design and how they can be applied to your custom home in the greater Tulsa area. We’ll discuss specific design features and strategies that help create an inclusive environment for all current and future residents of your home, from wider doorways and hallways to zero-threshold entrances and accessible bathrooms. With this, we’ll provide you with the knowledge and inspiration necessary to design a custom home that seamlessly integrates these principles and caters to all members of your household.

With decades of experience in home construction, general contracting, and residential household design, our team is well equipped to help you create a custom home that embraces the principles of Universal Design. We are passionate about designing homes that reflect our clients’ unique tastes and preferences while addressing the diverse needs of their families, friends, and visitors. Let’s explore how Universal Design can provide you with a comfortable, accessible home designed to meet your needs today and adapt gracefully to your changing circumstances in the future.

Understanding the Principles of Universal Design

Universal Design is an approach to creating environments that are accessible and usable by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or life stage. The seven principles of Universal Design, established by the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University, serve as a valuable framework for creating inclusive custom homes. These principles are:

  1. Equitable Use: Design spaces that are useful to people with diverse abilities.
  2. Flexibility in Use: Create spaces that accommodate a wide range of preferences and abilities.
  3. Simple and Intuitive Use: Design features and elements that are easy to understand and use, regardless of experience or cognitive ability.
  4. Perceptible Information: Ensure necessary information is easily communicated, considering various sensory abilities.
  5. Tolerance for Error: Minimize hazards and adverse consequences that may arise from accidental or unintended actions.
  6. Low Physical Effort: Design spaces that allow for efficient and comfortable use with minimal physical effort.
  7. Size and Space for Approach and Use: Ensure proper size and space is available for users to access, manipulate, and use elements of the design.

Key Universal Design Features in Custom Homes

When planning a custom home with Universal Design in mind, there are several important features to incorporate into your design to make your space more accessible and functional for everyone:

  1. Wide Doorways and Hallways: Design doorways at least 36 inches wide and hallways a minimum of 42 inches wide to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers.
  2. Zero-Threshold Entrances: Eliminate steps and create level entryways that ease navigation, reduce tripping hazards, and improve accessibility.
  3. Single-Floor Living: Design a main-level living space containing essential rooms, such as the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living area, to minimize the need for stairs.
  4. Lever Door Handles and Rocker Light Switches: Replace traditional door knobs and switches with more accessible options that require minimal gripping and effort to use.
  5. Accessible Bathrooms: Design bathrooms with features like a curbless shower, grab bars, and a wall-mounted sink, making the space safer and more accommodating for various mobility needs.

Designing Custom Floorplans for Universal Design

Adding Universal Design to your custom floorplan means considering how various elements come together to create an accessible and comfortable living environment. As you work with your builder to design a custom home with Universal Design, ensure the following areas are addressed:

  1. Open-Concept Living: Opt for an open floor plan that provides increased flexibility, natural light, and easier maneuverability throughout the space.
  2. Multi-Functional Spaces: Create rooms that can serve multiple purposes, such as a bedroom that doubles as a home office, to accommodate changing needs over time.
  3. Future Adaptability: Plan ahead for potential future accessibility needs by incorporating features like blocking behind walls to support future grab bars or designing an elevator-ready closet.

Universal Design in Outdoor Living Spaces

Don’t overlook your outdoor living spaces when integrating Universal Design principles. Incorporate the following features to maximize the accessibility and enjoyment of your home’s exterior areas:

  1. Accessible Pathways: Ensure paths and walkways are wide enough and feature a smooth, slip-resistant surface for safe navigation.
  2. Seamless Transitions: Minimize or eliminate steps and raised surfaces between indoors and outdoors, making it easier for everyone to access and enjoy your outdoor spaces.
  3. Comfortable Seating: Provide a variety of seating options, including chairs with armrests and supportive backs, to cater to all levels of mobility and comfort.

Creating Custom Homes for All in the Greater Tulsa Area

By implementing Universal Design principles in your custom home, you can create a beautiful, functional, and inclusive living environment tailored to the needs of every resident. Our team at Banner Custom Homes is dedicated to helping you build a custom home that embodies the spirit of Universal Design and ensures your home remains adaptable and inviting for years to come.

If you’re ready to explore how universal design can transform your Tulsa custom home dreams into reality, contact Banner Custom Homes today to discuss your unique vision and begin the exciting journey of designing a space that truly caters to all.