When someone purchases a home they do not think that in the future they may have to make it wheelchair accessible but it can happen. There could be an injury or illness that makes a person confined to a wheelchair, a parent could become disabled and have to move it, or as the one owning the home gets older they may find themselves in a wheelchair.
Here are some of the ways that you can do home remodeling to make the home wheelchair accessible.
• At each home entrance you need to build a wheelchair ramp. Some homes have sufficient room to make a ramp but if not you could hire a professional home remodeling contractor to install a vertical platform lift at each entrance. It is a good idea to include a cover over the ramp, a non-slip surface, and handrails.
• For stairways you should install a stairway lift. This is a great alternative if you live in a two-story house because it is cheaper to install the lift than it is to move. When installing a stair lift you need to make sure that it swivels so it is easier to get in and out of. There are stair lifts on the market that will even operate when you lose power in your home.
• Make sure that the thresholds and floors are easy to get over with a wheelchair. The main problem that homeowners see when have a wheelchair bound person in their home is the thick carpet. If it is possible your entire home should have hardwood or tile floors throughout the house. You could also opt to replace your carpet with low-pile carpeting. If the thresholds are the problem you could install short rubber ramps. If there are any exposed cords on the floor you will need to remove them
• Another home remodeling job that will need to be done is widening any doorways that are narrow. By doing this the person who is wheelchair confined will be able to remove freely about in any area or room in the house. Doing this could involve taking doors off, reversing how the door opens in some instances, and removing door frames. Every doorknob should be lowered to make them easy to reach. You can also install an automatic door opener. These should be done by a professional home remodeling contractor.
• You will also need to make sure that both your kitchen and bathroom are accessible. In the bathroom you may consider a walk-in tub or in a shower you may have to lower the showerhead. In the kitchen you have to make sure that the appliances and sinks are accessible and may have to lower the countertop.