Home Remodeling Ideas For People With Disabilities
When someone has a disability, making their home more accessible to them can dramatically increase their quality of life. However, the type of modification will vary from person to person, and there are a lot of factors to consider when planning an effective home remodeling project for the disabled. Fortunately, there are a lot of helpful resources available that provide remodeling tips and information for people with disabilities. Additionally, there are also several disability grants for home renovations that can help to cover the cost of modifications.
One of the first things that a person with a disability may need to do is hire an occupational therapist (OT) or other professionals who can evaluate their specific situation and needs. This will allow them to identify what changes will make the most difference in their ability to live and function at home. Afterward, it can be a good idea to consult with a contractor who specializes in home modifications for the disabled because they will have an understanding of what to look for and what options are available.
The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act prohibit housing providers from discriminating against tenants with disabilities by failing to provide reasonable accommodations, such as modifying bathrooms or widening doorways. Luckily, the laws don’t prevent renters from performing these types of modifications to their own homes. Even if a tenant doesn’t own their own home, they can request these modifications be made by the landlord and may qualify for a disability tax deduction for home renovations if done correctly.
Bathrooms and kitchens are often the most important rooms to modify for people with disabilities, because they are at high risk for slips and falls. Some easy and inexpensive upgrades that can be made in these areas include installing grab bars, ensuring clear travel paths with smooth flooring and covering uneven thresholds with rubber mats. These simple modifications are especially important if a person with a disability uses a wheelchair.
Another major modification to consider is converting a bathtub into an ADA-compliant shower. While this is not a quick project, it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run. This project requires removing the existing tub and re-routing the plumbing to fit a new walk-in shower with grab bars, a hand-held shower head, and a low-threshold entry.
When choosing a bathtub to convert into a shower, it’s important to measure the space beforehand so that you can choose fixtures that fit properly. It’s best to have a professional measure the space, but you can do this yourself to get an idea of how much room is needed for your desired layout.
Aside from specialized bathroom and kitchen modifications, there are plenty of other things that can be done to make the entire home more disability-friendly. A few other popular modifications include adding exterior ramps, putting in a chair lift or in-home elevator, and installing automatic control systems for lighting and garage doors.