Want A User-Friendly Residence? 3 Ways To Overcome Physical Barriers

You may have carefully designed the physical features of your house, ensuring that it looked palatial, but what if it puts people with disabilities at a substantial disadvantage when accessing the property? If you’re a people person, you don’t want your disabled guests to dread invitations coming from you.

Physical barriers are necessary to maintain security and serve as an obstacle to anyone who poses a risk to your property. But including features like kerbs, wetlands and stairs in your residential area can restrict mobility for people with physical disabilities. Floors and paved areas without the right kind of maintenance can also pose risks with cracks and slippages.

In modern times, one’s aim should be to make their housing user-friendly to a diverse group of people without restricting flexibility and including more areas for resting. The architects should consider potential users of the building. The users of the spaces should include people with disabilities. Your property should be inclusive, accessible, and flexible for every user. 

Inaccessible infrastructure is created due to inadequate knowledge, understanding and lack of user input. One should consider disabilities such as visual, mobility, auditory or cognitive impairments. 

Keep reading to overcome physical barriers and make your residence user-friendly

  • Increase accessibility

There should be a conscious attempt to develop a barrier-free environment.

Some disabilities cause bladder and bowel dysfunction and guests shouldn’t have to stress out about their visit to your place. Lifts, toilets and parking spaces should be easily accessible no matter the expanse of your residential complex. 

Parking spaces should be user-friendly for diverse disability groups, such as persons with mobility, speech, hearing, and visual impairments and have provisions for assistive devices like wheelchairs and lifts.

Some basic architectural provisions like slopes or ramps for wheelchairs, non-slippery flooring, and adequate lighting can make the residence fit for use by a diverse group of people.

  • Use signages

The use of signs to warn disabled individuals of danger is crucial. Like the “Do Not Disturb” sign in hotels and offices, the “Kerb Ahead” signage is necessary to prevent residential accidents. Significations ensure a user-friendly residence.

Disabled individuals whose condition cannot be seen or is discrete also deserve warnings. Use raised lettering or appropriate symbols whenever possible, and have writing that is large enough for the users or their caregivers to read. Ensure that it is an issue close to your heart and you’ve designed an environment that welcomes all.

  • Design a wider driveway

The driveway is an important place to consider the needs of the disabled. You can have a coloured concrete driveway with a clear path to the front door.

If you are limited in space, you may have to consider trimming back bushes in the side garden/lawn to clear more room for those in wheelchairs. You can also increase the size of the land by removing walls. Ensure that the driveway is visible from a distance, isn’t light coloured and doesn’t reflect light on the user’s eye.

Driveway materials like expensive paver bricks can be almost difficult to navigate or use for people with wheelchairs or mobility disorders. So it’s best to go for a smooth surface and wide path, and use decorative elements for the outer edges.


Some minor architectural adjustments can make things not only affordable for you but also easier for your guests with disabilities. Bumpy surfaces and some paving materials are difficult to maintain and can be expensive in the long run. Also, some impairments can occur suddenly and for no reason whatsoever, like Multiple Sclerosis, and having a user-friendly residence can keep you well-prepared no matter what’s thrown your way.