If you’re planning a remodeling and you have someone with a handicap living with you or have regular visitors with handicaps, consider keeping them in mind when planning your project. Here are a few tips that can help you.
A very simple way to identify areas that can be difficult for someone with a handicap is to walk through your home with a friend that has a handicap, or walk through with a wheelchair. You should be able to quickly see potential problem areas.
How wide are your hallways? Remember, even if they are wide enough to move a wheelchair through you need to see how easy it is to turn that wheelchair around.
Going through your home with a wheelchair will also help identify areas that may be too cluttered. Removing unnecessary furnishings will help reduce that problem while also helping to enhance the sense of spaciousness your home has.
Consider installing lighting that can be accessed by remote control. This helps eliminate the issue of how to get lights on and off for many disabled people.
Of course, most of us know about entranceways and ramps. However, you may not necessarily have to alter your main door (though that is the best option). You can remodel a side door, as long as it is easily accessed. Don’t make ramps too steep, provide a railing and be sure the door is wide enough for a wheelchair to get through and the area they are entering is large enough for them to move.
For bedrooms, remember the handicapped person will likely have to access everything while in their wheelchair. For closets, the bar for hanging clothes should be lowered so it is easy to reach. From a functionality perspective, drawers are usually the easiest to use for clothes, even shirts.
These are just a few tips about remodeling with disabilities in mind. An area like a bathroom has many elements that can make it more practical for a person with a disability, but it is more involved and requires its own article.
For now, we hope this gets you thinking about how your home can be more accommodating to everyone!