What is “visitability” and how do you use it?
It’s a fact: people love visiting cottages. If you’re lucky enough to have one, you’ll spend a good chunk of your summers entertaining friends and family. So, if you’re starting a new build or reno, it’s a great idea to factor these future visits into your planning. But we’re not just talking putting out the fancy towels and unfolding the sofabed — we’re talking “visitability.” Visitability is an emerging building approach that’s working towards making every home accessible for every person.
Starting at the design level, visitability will make sure that anyone with any form of a mobility challenge can still enjoy fun in the cottage sun. Beyond opening your home to friends and family members with disabilities, almost 45% of Canadians over 65 have some kind of mobility limitation. Visitability ensures that every generation can spend a summer weekend by the lake.
There are three key steps necessary to make your home or cottage visitable.
The first is a making sure you have a one level, zero-step entrance that’s accessible from the street with a minimum width of 36”. The second is checking that all your doorways and passageways are minimum 32” wide and have a clear passage throughout. Finally, ensure you have a wheelchair accessible bathroom on the ground floor.
Visitability initiatives also suggest smaller changes, like making sure light switches are at a height that’s comfortable for all, or reinforcing walls surrounding toilets and showers in case you need to install a grab bar.
So, why not include visitability on your new build to-do list? With three easy, affordable steps, you can make your new home or cottage inviting and inclusive for all — and that’s way better than even the fanciest towel.