Create an accessible plan with integrated solutions
The first step in designing flexible spaces is determining which design elements need to be included initially and which can be installed later if they are needed. For example, building a bathroom with access to a 5-ft. clear turnaround area that improves wheelchair maneuverability should be incorporated initially, because it would be difficult and expensive to make accommodations for such a space later. Below are the elements that make this new bathroom accessible while still maintaining a comfortable, style-appropriate aesthetic.A
Doorways have a minimum 32-in. clear width to accommodate wheelchairs.B
Swinging doors with levers, not knobs, are used instead of pocket doors because they’re less challenging to open from a seated position.C
Hallways and passageways are 48 in. wide to improve access.D
A 5-ft. clear turnaround circle integrated into the floor plan of the bath is best. If this isn’t possible, create a turnaround circle just outside the bathroom, as shown at right.E
A removable shower screen/partition provides better access to the shower if necessary in the future.F
Blocking for a future fold-down seat is integrated into the shower wall adjacent to the shower controls. Typical seat height is 18 in. above the floor.