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Adaptable Home Checklist

Man Writing

 A home may be considered adaptable if it has all, or most, of the following structural features which permit reasonable entry and navigation throughout the living area without the need of major remodeling: 

  • Located on a level site with paved walkways from parking (covered is preferred) and sidewalk areas to level entry

  • A ground-level entrance or a one or two step entrance that would accept a ramp with a slope no greater than 1" height by 12" in length

  • No steps or abrupt level changes on the main floor

  • Wider-than-standard doorways (32" or more clear width); 1/2" high maximum thresholds

  • Wide hallways of at least 42"; preferably 48" or 60"

  • At least one large bathroom with a 32" clear door opening and clear 5'x5' floor space

  • A kitchen large enough for easy wheelchair mobility (U or L-shaped or open-plan preferred)

Adaptable features are those that can be made to a home in a short time without involving material or structural modifications. Adaptable homes look the same as other properties except that mobility enhancing features can be added, and removed, to match the resident's needs.  

Examples of adaptable features might include shelving or counter-tops that are installed with adjustable supports rather than permanently built into the wall at a fixed height, or a ramp that negates the presence of steps, providing an easier entry into the home. 

NOTE: The 1988 Fair Housing Amendments Act protects persons with disabilities from unfair and discriminatory housing practices. It also requires particular design requirements for accessibility and adaptable designs in new multifamily housing built on or after March 13, 1991.  Builders and Developers of Multifamily units must be familiar with these design requirements.

To date, there are no minimum accessibility standards for single residential housing mandated by the federal government. This checklist is not intended to be used to determine if necessary building codes applicable to single family home construction have been met by the Builder or Developer.  Such building codes for single family residential structures vary from state to state, and should be confirmed with the local Builder or Developer prior to any construction.

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