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Retrofit bathroom doors for more universal design

Switching out a 30-inch door for a 36-inch

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Q: In past years, I seem to remember a movement to have architects and builders promote universal design, with at least one bathroom with doors wide enough for wheelchairs. Did this idea totally die because of cost? A: We're happy to say the universal design movement is alive and well. In fact, there is a Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University. You can check out the website here. If a home is initially designed and built for people with varying degrees of physical abilities, the increased cost is negligible. Retrofitting is another story and can run the gamut from installing $10 grab bars to a $40,000 elevator. As the baby boomers get long in the tooth, more emphasis is being put on aging in place. Our former editor at The San Francisco Chronicle, Lynette Evans, and collaborator Monika Weiss are developing a new website called A Friendly House. It features universal design with special emphasis on aging in place. It's worth checking out at www.afri...