When you find yourself needing to remodel your home to best suit disabilities, it often means having to do almost a complete home remodeling of that space. Dealing with a disability is a challenge on its own, and by remodeling your home you can make the everyday coming and goings of a disabled person much easier.
Main Areas In Your Home That Will Need Complete Remodeling
There are many barriers in your home that you may not be aware of, but that a person in a wheelchair will find difficult to work around. What follows are the biggest things to look out for, and think about, when remodeling your home for disabilities:
The first way of accessing your home can be a huge barrier for someone in a wheelchair. If you have even one small step that leads to the porch or front door of your home, this should be the first to get revised. A wheelchair ramp will ensure ease of access to your front porch or front door, and this should be kept in mind when you have any steps leading to any entry to your home.
When embarking upon home remodeling for disabilities, the bathroom is a major area where you should have to implement changes. Always remember that the overall space of the bathroom should be big enough for the wheelchair to maneuver freely – thus a small bathroom will need to be made bigger. A standard guide is that a wheelchair should have freedom of movement of no less than 5 inches to turn around – this is set by the ADA. A bathtub will need to be replaced with a roll-in, flat bottomed shower. Do make sure to get handle bars in the shower as well, as a safety measure. Such bars should also be installed next to the toilet, and should be installed at a low height, similar to the shower safety bars. The toilet bowl should not be too high either – 17 to 19 inches tall. Keep all obstructions to a bare minimum, and none at all if possible. The sink should be kept open underneath. If you do have vanity cabinets installed under your sink, these will have to be removed.
With doorways, think wide. A doorway that’s too narrow will not work. The minimum standard for your doorway should be 32 inches, according to the ADA. Door knobs and handles are also going to be an obstruction, as it will be difficult for the person in the wheelchair to stretch out and turn the handle or knob – this is why levers should be used on your doors.
The traditional round or square shaped kitchen will need to be remodeled into a U-shape, for ease of movement of the wheelchair, otherwise the person in the wheelchair will need to constantly turn around to get things done, which is very uncomfortable. Make sure that there is plenty of space underneath the kitchen counters and the kitchen sink, and ensure the countertops are low enough for an easy workspace.
General Areas To Note
Take a walk around your home, but imagine you are in a wheelchair. Remove large bulky furniture, phone cords, loose rugs and very thick carpeting. Fix broken and missing tiles and ensure light and thermostat switches are low enough to reach. If you have a staircase in your home, you will need to get a vertical lift inside your home as well.
As you can see, remodeling your home for disabilities is a daunting task. You cannot tackle the project on your own so getting in touch with a construction company such as Miller Construction is your best bet to make sure that your home remodeling is in good hands.