Interior and Living Areas

Indoor Fixtures and Controls

All fixtures should be easy for all residents to operate, regardless of dexterity. Doors that use lever hardware are easy to operate with a hand, closed fist or with an elbow if the hands are injured or otherwise occupied. Faucets and shower valves should operate similarly and work well even when hands are wet and soapy. Consider specifying light switches that don’t require pinching or grasping to operate, such as rocker or paddle style switches. These solutions are typically easy to implement and can be incorporated without disrupting anyone's daily routines.

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Replacing door hardware, lighting controls and water fixtures are very inexpensive methods that can have a large quality of life effect for residents while requiring very little effort to install. Many off-the-shelf options have been designed specifically for easy setup and use, with low costs that make them an appealing choice for many households.

How-to tip

Most easy-to-reach controls and handles are typically located between 18 inches and 48 inches above the floor. The increasing dominance of electronics and technology can be challenging to use for some occupants, so be sure to consider whether a technological or traditional solution is best for the intended users. For any wall-mounted controls, install at a maximum height of 48 inches. Discuss use and daily routines with your clients to ensure that placement of light and tech controls are logical and easy to remember.