Disability Remodeling/Accessible Home Remodeling
Accessible home remodeling is important work, essential for people with disabilities to be able to navigate and utilize their homes properly. There may need to be many changes made to the home, and some will require customization to perfectly suit the individual involved.
Preparing For an Accessible Home Remodeling Project
People who have never had to consider handicap or disability access requirements may have the perception that these projects are primarily just adding a wheelchair ramp to the front door and a few handrails. The truth is that disabled home access projects are usually extremely comprehensive and involve the entire building.
When you remodel a home for a person with a disability, some considerations you must make are:
- The width of the doors and hallways
- The functionality and support structures in the bathroom
- The height of the kitchen counters and access to upper cupboards
- The height of all sinks in the house
- Alternatives to stair access for the basement and upper floors
If it is within your budget, custom-built cabinets, shelving, desks, wardrobes and other furniture are ideal. You can search for local custom carpentry specialists near to your location here.
What to Expect with a Disability Remodeling Project
When planning a disability home remodeling, it is important for all members of the household to be aware of the changes required and make their own needs known. The home should ideally be workable for everyone who lives there, but the location of some rooms may have to change, and in some cases it may be better to add rooms than remodel existing ones.
As an example, the bathroom of the home may require so many alterations and remodeling that the construction of a second bathroom is cheaper and easier. There may be other instances where alternatives to conventional renovations are your best option, and it is prudent to always have the advice of a professional in order to make these decisions.
Adding support rails and ramps are the first-considered and easiest renovations, but if you have a two-storey home, or a smaller house with little wiggle room, then you will find far more costly challenges are in store for you.
As a final consideration, in the end the best outcome is for your home to still look personal and intimate, and not like a sterile hospital environment. Try to add color or whimsy to your renovations where possible, or incorporate artwork that enhances the new format of the rooms.
Play It Safe and Hire a Contractor
Any accessibility renovation beyond a couple of simple handrails is nearly always a specialist task, and require a contractor experienced in these projects. These projects can be quite complex as serious reconstruction may need to be done and local building codes must be complied with, and a professional will also be aware of new developments in the disabled access industry.
A professional contractor will have the necessary experience and special equipment to make proper alterations to a home without damaging existing structures and utilities. They will be able to advise you on which products and systems are the best quality, most affordable or most suitable for your individual circumstances. It is critical that any special equipment be installed properly because the disabled inhabitant's ability to get by independently is reliant on that equipment withstanding daily use and not being liable to fail.
Choosing the Right Contractor
If you do not have any personal friends or contacts who have ever undertaken a disability renovation before to ask for referrals, a good starting point is to contact local dealers of specialty home access equipment to get a list of reputable local businesses experienced in doing these kinds of projects. Collect at least three quotes from professional contractors, making sure to request details of past clients you can contact for referrals in order to get an idea of their quality of work and reliability.
In some instances, you may be able to get some costs of the project covered by your insurance provider. When you talk to contractors, be sure that you discuss their experience in working with insurance companies and make sure that the contractor you hire is familiar with the process.
An accessibility contractor should always be able to provide their contractor's license and present proof of their commercial insurance coverage. You should be wary of contractors who will not present this information and remove them from your list of possible candidates. For a project of this gravity, you should only hire a contractor that makes you feel completely confident. A good resource for beginning your search for such a specialist in your local area can be found at this site.
An accessibility remodeling project is an important step in the process of turning a house into a home for every member of the family. Be sure that you find the best possible contractor to get the job done and the results you need.