Whether you are a landlord providing housing for someone using a wheelchair or if you or a family member in your family use a wheelchair to get around, the standard setup of a house will likely not accommodate for the wheelchair's use inside the home. Fortunately, there are some adjustments you can make to your home's interior and exterior to make it handicap accessible. Here are some updates and improvements you will need to make to your house to adjust it to accommodate a wheelchair.
Add Access With Stairs
A house that has stairs, whether the steps are four or fourteen in a row, will not work well for a person in a wheelchair. The stairs make it impossible for a handicapped individual to maneuver on their own and difficult even when they have another person assisting them. Stairs inside and outside the home will need either a stair ramp or a stair lift added onto them to provide wheelchair access.
A stair lift on your porch steps or interior staircase going upstairs or down to the basement will give individual access to the person in the wheelchair. A stair lift can be added and fitted to your home's interior stairs to lift the individual up or down. Then, others will still be able to use the stairs, right along with the stair lift, if needed. Talk to a stair lift installation professional about this option in your home.
Also, you can add a wheelchair ramp onto the front of the home's porch to create a gradual slope from the ground level to the porch. A ramp can be added over the existing stairs or adjacent to them.
Update the Flooring and Entryways
Inside your home it is important to also consider one using the wheelchair to maneuver through the home. If the home has thick, plush carpeting, this can make wheeling around difficult. For this reason, you can consider replacing the carpeting with a smooth surface, such as hardwood flooring, laminate, vinyl, or even a low-pile loop fiber carpeting.
The door frames in your home are also going to be too narrow to easily allow a wheelchair access. It is essential to have several inches of extra space on either side of the wheelchair's wheels for a person to get through each doorway in your home. Talk to a contractor about widening the doorways and removing any thresholds on the floors to increase accessibility. You can always remove the frames of the doorways as a quick update and to make them more accessible immediately.
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