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Building a Home with Universal Design

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When building a new Austin home, there may be members of your family who have special needs. Builders who specialize in custom homes in Austin can help to design accommodations that make your home comfortable for everyone in your family. This kind of implementation is called “universal design” (UD) because it seeks to make the space functional “universally”, meeting the needs of everyone who uses it. This may be expressed with various components, such as wider hallways, handlebars in the shower, lower switches or higher outlets, door handles instead of round knobs, elevators or chair lifts, as well as numerous other features.  

The basic idea behind universal design is to make custom homes in Austin accessible and easy to use for all the occupants who live there, as well as visitors. It may also add value to your property if you plan to resell in the future. These homes can be appropriate for young people who have aging parents, as well as for those who plan on staying in the same home for decades.  

The increasing popularity of UD, especially among a younger demographic is that it removes from the property potential obstructions and hazards for both people who have special needs as well as able-bodied individuals. It is architecture meant to prevent injuries and assist people in functioning well within the space in which they live. The ergonomic design of UD custom homes in Austin allows access to people who use wheelchairs, for instance, through any area of the house. Universal design tends to benefit everyone because it maximizes the use and functionality for those who do not have special needs as well. Every faucet in the house, door latch, entrance, light switch, hallway, and surface is designed so that everyone can make use of them as much as possible.

Thinking about step-less entrances, broader doors and wider entrances in designing custom homes in Austin can have many benefits other than catering to people with special needs. If done well, it can be aesthetically tasteful, while providing more space to navigate furniture in and out of the house, groceries, or even strollers for children. Some of the other components widely used in UD custom homes in Austin include E-Z fold hinges used with bi-fold closet doors, thermostats placed in places easy to reach with large numbers and easy operation, lighting oriented towards certain tasks – such as cooking or reading, knee space at countertops in the kitchen to make room for a chair as well as in the bathrooms, extra space to maneuver in bathrooms, handheld shower heads and conveniently located bathroom grab bars.  

Custom Homes Austin - Zbranek & Holt Custom Homes is an award-winning Austin, Texas home builder providing superior service for our clients. All project managers are Certified Graduate Builders, Master Builders and Green Building Professionals from the National Association of Home Builders. Our priority is customer service and satisfaction, which we ensure through strong communication with our clients. We specialize in working with relocating families to build truly distinctive homes throughout the Austin, Texas area. Our objective is to provide the finest home possible that meets each client’s individual lifestyle needs. We offer a secure online portal whereby each client has 24 hour access to their project and builder. Contact us today at 512-261-0344 or online at

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