Renovating your Home to be Accessible

This article looks at the different steps one should go about looking to renovate their home to be more accessible. Take a look at what challenges should be expected when taking on this project.

Whether it is for someone who is disabled or simply finding it harder to get about the house, renovating a home to be accessible can be a challenge. Each house is different, and offers its own trials for renovation experts. However, experienced home renovation contractors like Heilman Renovations can find ways to increase accessibility without breaking the bank.

The general changes to the home can sometime include the widening of doorways, handrails for stairs and steps, bathroom renovations such as toilets, showers and tubs, changes to the kitchen, handicap accessibility ramps and the installation of lifts or elevators. These can be minor or significant costs, and careful monetary budgeting needs to be done when doing these types of projects. Work closely with a knowledgeable renovator from the beginning, as they will be able to advise what is and isn’t within your budget.

Start With the Basics of Accessible Home Renovation

When looking at what changes need to be made, it is a good idea to start with the simplest things first. Look at what needs to be accessible in the house. Will the house need ramps? Will the doorways need to be widened? Will the bathroom need to be totally remodeled? Are there any accessibility laws that you need to abide by? 

These are all questions that need to be answered as a plan then can be formulated as to what direction is necessary. Doing research online can also spark ideas that may not have been thought about, as well as give a look into the way the home can be expected to look when the renovation project is over with.

Remodeling your Home to be more Accessible

Some ideas for making your home easier to use include:

  • Ensuring kitchen fittings have easy-to-reach storage. Drawer fridges and dishwashers are preferred, and lever taps make for easy use.
  • Consider repurposing a room completely, such as one downstairs or easily accessed. Harder-to-access rooms could become storage rooms.
  • Can your home accommodate a self-contained annex? For example, two bedrooms with an adjoined bathroom could become a “granny flat” while the rest of the house remains undisturbed. This could even become a second income if you are willing to rent it out.
  • Plan for a downstairs bedroom when possible. This makes accessibility projects much simpler, avoiding the need for stair-lifts or an equivalent. If your stairs are non-standard, expect the price of a stair-lift to go up, as custom installations are not cheap.
  • If you’re planning for the future, it might be sensible to include a home office downstairs. You may want to work from home, and having the office downstairs will simplify your life.
  • Open plan renovations make for more accessible homes.
  • Pay attention to the location of fixtures when doing your renovation.
  • Consider alternative heating options that allow your home to have different sections independently heated.

Call in the Home Renovation Experts

If there are serious upgrades that need to be made, it is always a good idea to call in a remodeling professional who has the expertise in renovating a house to be more accessible. 

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