Lets Make A Big Difference In Home Accessibility

 

While our homes are beautiful, they are also a place where a family must function harmoniously. If you have a family member that requires special accommodations, I’m sure you want to do everything you can to make sure they are comfortable.

While remodeling for accessibility is important, there are smaller things you should be doing around your house to make movement and functionality less challenging. They may seem like details, but they can make a huge difference in home accessibility. See a few ways you can improve your home for universal design and function.

 

Install An Elevator Or Chairlift

If you live in a two-story home, simply removing stairs is not an option to help those with mobility issues travel up and down. A chairlift or an elevator can be helpful to all. While the costs are significant, adding a chairlift or elevator can increase your home’s value. The average cost to install an elevator or chairliftis $16,397, with most homeowners spending between $3,004 and $5,849.

 

Build A Wheelchair Ramp

For those coming in from outside, a wheelchair ramp can improve overall accessibility to your home. Even if you have one or two steps to your entryway, this can pose a problem for those with mobility issues. By building a ramp, you can easily solve this issue and increase the value of your home. The average cost to build a ramp is $1,585, but can greatly vary based on the size of the ramp.

If you’re looking to save money on this project, it’s possible to DIY. However, there are many considerations before taking on this project, such as weight and use of the ramp. To learn more about this DIY project, read How To Build A Wheelchair Ramp.

 

Replace Your Handles

You may not notice it, but the type of door handles you have play a big role in the universal design of your home. Knobs can be difficult for those with accessibility issues to turn and fully open. This is especially true if a family member has mobility issues. A simple way you can make this easier is by changing your circular knobs with levers. These are easier to open and close.

The same is true for cabinet drawer pulls. The ADA recommends drawer pulls that can be easily utilized with one hand. U-shaped kitchen cabinet hardwareis usually the best choice for accessibility.

 

Lower Light Switches & Controls

If a family member needs wheelchair accommodations, the obvious modifications like door width and ramps may come to mind. But a little detail that is often overlooked is where light switches, thermostat and other home controls are placed in a room. Often, they are high off the ground, while the ADA recommends light switches be 48” off the ground, so they are easy to turn on from a sitting position.

However, moving a light switch is not easy work. This is best left to the pros who can properly relocate your switch.