Customizing Your Home for Accessibility: Design Tips for All Ages and Abilities in Knoxville

At Red Door Homes, we know just how important accessibility is. Whether you're a young family, a senior, or someone with special mobility needs, creating a home that's welcoming for everyone is a necessity.

In this article, we'll talk about everything we’ve learned over the years about accessible home design. By using these practical tips, you can make your Knoxville home a comfortable space for loved ones of all ages and abilities.

Understanding Accessibility in Home Design

Having an accessible home isn’t just an abstract concept or about following regulations with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Having an accessible home means creating spaces that are safe and comfortable for everyone. Designing your home with this in mind makes sure your living space is inclusive for all your loved ones.

In Knoxville, we want to build a community where everyone feels valued and respected. That starts with our homes.

Entryways and Exteriors

Now, to start with designing and building an accessible home. First impressions matter, even in a house!

You absolutely must have an accessible entryway in your home. Consider installing ramps or no-step entries for those who may find stairs challenging. Landscaping can also be an issue - paths should be wide and even, and should focus on gentle slopes rather than sharp or steep steps.

Outdoor lighting makes a huge difference too - everyone should see where they’re going to avoid accidental injury for those late-night trips in or out!

Navigating the Interior: Hallways and Doors

Inside the home, hallways and doors need to be able to be entered by everyone. They should be wide enough to accommodate both wheelchairs and walkers comfortably. It should be easy to navigate your home using any of these devices.

We also recommend lever-style door handles, which are often easier for individuals with limited hand strength to use. Though these changes sound small, they make a huge difference for those enjoying your space.

The Heart of the Home: Kitchen Design

Many people call the kitchen the heart of the home, and we have to agree. There’s something special about cooking and socializing with the whole family in the kitchen. That’s why it should be accessible to all!

Consider adjustable countertops or tables that can be raised or lowered depending on who is using them. Lower shelves and lazy Susans can also give others greater access to the storage they need in the kitchen. And if you have a lot of appliances, consider ones with front controls and easy-to-read labels to avoid confusion or struggle.

Safe and Accessible Bathrooms

Safety and accessibility in the bathroom are non-negotiable. For sinks and toilets, consider the height and space around them. Are they too tall for some individuals to access? Is any furniture in the way that would prevent someone with a wheelchair or walker from easy access?

We also recommend showers with grab bars and getting some non-slip flooring. Depending on your family’s needs, a seat in the shower may also be greatly beneficial. These additions make your bathroom safer while also providing a greater level of independence for individuals with mobility issues.

Living Spaces for Everyone

What’s a living room if not everyone can enjoy it? Your living space should have open room to move around freely, especially for anyone with mobility devices.

We also recommend considering technology that can assist with independence, such as voice-activated Smart devices or remote controls. This technology can bring a new level of control to anyone who uses the living room, so everyone can relax and enjoy their time together.

Bedrooms for Comfort and Accessibility

Remember that the bedroom should be comfortable and relaxing. Make sure there’s enough room around the bed for easy access. We also recommend you consider adjustable beds or bedframes - these can be lowered or heightened depending on the person’s needs to get in and out of bed.

Closets should also be made accessible to those who need to use them. Consider lower hanging rods and pull-out drawers to give everyone the ability to reach what they need.

Final Thoughts

An accessible home is more than just a building - it's a space where everyone can live comfortably and independently. As you consider these tips for your Knoxville home, remember that small changes can have a significant impact.

By embracing accessible design, you help build a community that values and respects every individual's needs and abilities.

If you have any specific needs for your home not listed here, be sure to discuss this with your builders. If you’re interested in learning more about Red Door Homes’ process, contact us today and we would be happy to discuss further with you!


What is the most important aspect to consider when designing an accessible home?

Safety, independence, and comfort are the pillars of accessible home design. Every decision should be made with these key considerations in mind.

How can I make my existing home in Knoxville more accessible without major renovations?

Simple modifications can make a big difference. Think about adding grab bars in the bathroom, changing doorknobs to lever handles, and removing throw rugs that could be trip hazards.

Are there any financial aids or programs in Knoxville for making homes accessible?

Knoxville offers various programs and financial aid for home accessibility. Check with local government agencies or non-profits for information on grants and subsidies.

How do I ensure my home is accessible for all age groups?

Universal design principles are key. These include wide doorways, single-story living, and user-friendly kitchens and bathrooms that cater to all ages and abilities.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in accessible home design?

Avoid narrow doorways and hallways, high thresholds, and poor lighting. These are common oversights that can significantly impede accessibility.

Where can I find a contractor in Knoxville who specializes in accessible home design?

Look for contractors with experience in accessible design or certifications in aging-in-place design. Remember, creating an accessible home is a journey. Feel free to ask Red Door Homes more questions and seek out additional resources as you embark on this rewarding endeavor.


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