Make it Easy to Get in Your Home with Universal Design

by | Accessible Design, Exterior Design

01 mosby universal design front entry

This home, from curb to door, is a great example of universal design.  A new front door was the initial reason for the project, but the couple was inspired by Mosby Building Arts to re-think how they wanted their home to function, and how it presented itself to the public.

02 mosby universal design front entry

This home sits on a busy thoroughfare in Glendale, MO, and for decades the family dealt with a straight line driveway that made coming and going challenging. With the children gone and their lifestyle changing, the couple has been entertaining at home much more frequently. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have easier access with more parking?

Above is the original front façade of the home, overlooking a generous front yard. Mosby architect Brian Yount designed a U-shaped driveway that makes it a breeze to enter and exit the grounds, makes it possible to drop someone right at the door, and also accommodates guest parking. And an added benefit – less grass to be mowed!

03 mosby universal design front entry

The driveway melds into a walkway that takes one to a new covered porch and a new front door, which was the initial trigger for the project.  The genius of this design is that it’s 100% accessible from driveway to door, effortlessly combining ease of use for everyone with beauty, which is a central goal of universal design.

Let’s look at the details of the accessible path from the other direction.

05 mosby universal design front entry

The driveway is wide enough for a car to park and have all 4 doors open, making it easy to load and unload. The concrete paver driveway and the stone paver sidewalk blend as a smooth, level transition to the front door. These details are important to a parent with a baby stroller, or people using crutches, a walker or wheelchair.

Universal design strives to make every space usable to everyone, regardless of age or ability. With accessible design in place you need not worry about suddenly altered abilities (like a skiing accident putting you on crutches) or aging gradually changing abilities.

04 mosby universal design front entry

The new Provia door is made of steel with a wood look. The accessible features are a lever door handle, which is easier to use than a knob (you can even open it with your elbow if your arms are full); a keyless lock option quickly arms or disarms the door with a remote, so there’s no fumbling with keys;  a zero-clearance threshold removes any obstacles at your feet, with a smooth transition from outdoors to indoors; the sidelights on either side of the door have small clear glass panels so that people of all heights can peek out to see who may be at the door.

This front entry remodel is designed to graciously welcome and accommodate everyone who comes to the house, and most of them will be unaware that it’s purposely designed to make their life easier.  Mosby Building Arts can create improvements like this because their remodeling team includes Certified Aging In-Place Specialists and a Universal Design Certified Professional. Review a portfolio of some of their accessible remodeling projects. Begin your collaboration with Mosby by calling 314.909.1800 or contact them here.