What an accessible home looks like

The changes to the housing standards in the National Construction Code will come into force in May 2023. These changes are in line with the Livable Housing Design Guidelines Silver level. That means some basic access features will be mandatory in all new homes. That is, unless you live in NSW and WA because the state governments refuse to adopt the changes. 

The design features have been around for more that twelve years. And as more builders and designers get the hang of the features, the more creative the designs will be. Too many people associate accessibility with ugly public bathrooms, but the pictures below show that’s not the case. They show what an accessible home looks like. 

Good examples of universal design are difficult to find. Because universal design is invisible until pointed out, pictures alone do not tell the story. 

Thanks to Taylor’d Distinction for allowing the use of their pictures. They are based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Looking forward to the day when there is no need to have a separate section for “accessible housing”. It should be considered mainstream. After all, how many of us can invite a wheelchair basketballer into our home? See more on the quest for mainstream universally designed housing

Kitchen with white benches contrasting with the light brown floor.

Contrast between floor and benches

Kitchen island bench with timber finish giving colour contrast.
Timber finish contrast with kitchen bench
Bathroom design with dark tiles and floor and white bath and vanity bench.
Vanity bench has easy access
A white Labrador dog lays at the opening to the level access alfresco.
Level access alfresco
A stainless steel level handle.
Lever handles good for poor dexterity
Shower recess with half screen and hand held shower.
Shower recess with half screen
View into the bathroom through a wide door.
Wide doors throughout
Level access to the outdoors.
Level access to the outdoors
Light switches with large rockers.
Larger rocker switches easy to use
Laundry with white fittings. Washer and Dryer raised up.
Raised washer and dryer good for all backs

A view of the kitchen showing the bench height over and access to another room.Circulation space and bench height oven

Timber staircase with handrails both sides.
Handrails both sides for safety
A person with a four-wheeled walker rolls over the level threshold.
Level threshold gives access for all


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