Maintaining your home’s integrity while trying to make it more accessible can seem like an impossible task.
Yet, the design doesn’t have to be sacrificed for accessibility.
With some careful tweaks and with a focus on a few key spaces, you can make your home design work for you.
Start with the Basics
Where do most people spend their time?
A lot of people would say the kitchen. That is the room where families gather to converse and create traditional meals. It’s the heart of many homes. When considering accessible home design, the kitchen should be the first room to focus on.
By lowering shelves, raising drawers, and replacing a few appliances, you can make this room less of a challenge.
Some designers recommend adjusting counter heights to 30 inches. This height ensures that residents who use wheelchairs can access them.
Replacing older appliances, like refrigerators, can also make the kitchen a much more accessible room. Elevating dishwashers and replacing them with drawer style washers can make life a lot easier for disabled residents.
The design doesn’t have to be sacrificed for accessibility. Many modern options can still make a home ADA compliant.
Tweak Existing Features
One way of doing this is by widening doorways. Many accessibility-minded home designers recommend widening doorways to 42 inches. This width allows for easy wheelchair access throughout your home.
Some designers also recommend setting grab bars throughout the home by disguising them as other tools, such as towel racks in bathrooms.
Switching door handles that require twisting for levers can be a great design feature as well.
Modernizing light design can be a great accessibility tweak as well. Aging or sight-impaired residents may request more natural light or better-lit rooms, such as their kitchens or bathrooms.
Don’t Sacrifice Great Home Design
Bathrooms can be the most challenging rooms to make accessible for mobility-impacted residents.
Widening doorways in bathrooms is a good idea. Removing divider walls to make the space more open is also recommended. Many designers will also remove bathtubs and replace them with shower stalls.
These stalls should have a level entryway so that wheelchairs can enter them easily.
Installing built-in shower seats will make this complicated space much easier. Grab bars can be a colored metal instead of chrome. This feature removes the institutionalized feel some accessible bathrooms have and can make it more appealing to new owners.
Lowering sinks and making sure they have plenty of clearance for an owner’s wheelchair is also something to consider. Surround toilets with grab bars. Some designers recommend a combination toilet/bidet if a customer is interested in this feature.
Choose a Design and Accessibility Expert
Are you interested in trying to make your home more accessible? Are you worried about losing its style while making it more ADA compliant?
With our expert help, we’ll give you both stylish home design and make your home easier to navigate.
Michael Helm is a recognized leader in the architectural design and consultation fields. He has more than twenty-four years experience and more than 200 projects to his credit. He has extensive experience with demanding projects and enjoys a high level of success and comfort working with clients, design and construction teams.