• A Baby in Stroller being pushed by an adult
  • Example of Integrated Townhouses – Each front door features a zero step entrance.
  • Example: A Raised Alley Leads to Zero Step Entrances via Attached Garages in Austin, TX
  • Example: Home with Zero Step Front Entrance. A concrete path leads to the front door.
  • Example: A Concrete Path Leads Up A Small Incline to A Zero Step Front Entrance
  • Example: An accessible Entrance is Provided by a Concrete Path Leading  from the Driveway to the Back Entrance
  • Example: A Concrete Path Leads from the Sidewalk to Each Front Door in a Row of Visitable Townhouses
  • Example: A House with Zero Step Front Entrance. A concrete path leads from the driveway to the front door.


Visitability is a growing trend nationwide. The term refers to single-family or owner-occupied housing designed in such a way that it can be lived in or visited by people who have trouble with steps or who use wheelchairs or walkers.

A house is visitable when it meets three basic requirements:

  • one zero-step entrance.
  • doors with 32 inches of clear passage space.
  • one bathroom on the main floor you can get into in a wheelchair.

“When someone builds a home, they’re not just building it for themselves — that home’s going to be around for 100 years,” Concrete Change founder Eleanor Smith told The New York Times. “These things hurt nobody — and they help a lot of other people.”

Who benefits from visitability? 

  • The young mother with a baby in a stroller, who doesn’t have to hump it up and down steps when she visits her friends
  • The UPS driver who brings your new cabinets and leaves them on your front porch
  • The homeowner trying to get the new cabinets into the house from the front porch
  • Grandma who wants to visit the grandkids but knows she won’t be able to use the bathroom when she visits
  • The college kid moving out with all his boxes and belongings

What is universal design? 

Universal design is the concept and practice of designing buildings, products, and environments to be accessible to all people. This includes all physical, sensory, and cognitive needs, and the needs of people for whom chemical, electrical / wi-fi, or other environmental factors present barriers. Universal Design relates to residences, public and private buildings, theaters and arenas, all modes of transportation and all public spaces such as parks.