Universal designs, also known as accessible designs, bring conveniences to homes that benefit not only the disabled and elderly, but all residents no matter their size, age, or physical abilities. For instance, a zero-step entrance will accommodate a wheelchair as well as make entry easier with a baby stroller. Universal design features can include an elevator or chair lift; flat, ground-level entrances without steps; kitchen counters at various heights to accommodate various activities; 42-inch-wide hallways for increased mobility; or lever handles for opening doors rather than turning knobs. “Many of these features may help with accessibility, and add convenience, but at the same time they help make a great home design,” said Chris Naatz, vice president of sales for D.R. Horton Chicago. While people are growing increasingly aware of universal design, some communities are making efforts to promote it. For instance, Bolingbrook has a law requiring all new homes constructed in the city to have fundamental universal design features. River Hills by Orleans Homes is a new home community in Bolingbrook that features no threshold entries, wider doorways, and wider hallways to meet the ordinance. | Read More