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3 Tips For Designing An Accessible Home

by Harry Martin

When you bought your first home, it fit your needs perfectly. Now you have a child in a wheelchair and you need your new home to be completely accessible. Before you sit down with your contractor, take a look at three design options that will open up your home and make it truly accessible for your child.

The Perfect Entry

The entry point to your home is one of the most important features in an accessible home. The first thing you need to consider is the zero-step ramp. Your child will be using both the front and back doors, so be sure you have ramps designed for both locations.

To make entering and exiting easier on your child, choose ramp designs that have a longer entrance. A longer ramp will allow the slope to be less drastic. You can even incorporate a curved ramp into the design of your landscaping, which will allow it to blend in with the design of your home.

Accessible Doorways

Traditional doors are not wide enough to accommodate most wheelchairs. This can make it difficult for someone in a wheelchair to travel comfortably from room-to-room. When designing your home, be sure to incorporate doorways that are at least 32" wide. This will allow your child to navigate their wheelchair through the doors comfortably. It's important to note that if your child will be entering the room from a turn – such as bedrooms that are accessed from a hallway – the doorway should have a 36" opening.

The Bathroom

When planning an accessible bathroom for your child, it's important to consider the size of your home. For instance, does your home have multiple floors? If your home is multi-level, you should include a separate powder room on the ground floor. This will ensure that your child has access to the bathroom wherever they are in the home.

When designing the bathroom, be sure there's enough space for your child to turn around in their wheelchair. This will allow them to navigate their chair without getting stuck between the door and the toilet or sink. Two other important design features include lower light switches and cut-out vanities that allow under-sink access for wheelchairs.

Now that you're designing your new home, you want it to be accessible for your child. The ideas provided above will help you design a home that is wheelchair accessible. For other design options, be sure to sit down with your contractor like Thurber Home Plans home builder.