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A Checklist for Designing a Disability-Friendly Home

One of the greatest gifts you can give your child, partner, or parent with disabilities is a home that is accessible. That way, at no point will your loved one feel inadequate or run the risk of falling and hurting themselves unnecessarily.

While there are a lot of contractors who specialize in creating these sorts of spaces, you must have a clear idea of what you expect from them. That way, you don’t feel cheated at the end of the project. Here is a list of three must-dos your contractor needs to complete before you consider signing off on the remodeling project for your disability-friendly home.

#1. Disability-Friendly Flooring

Flooring is one area of the home most people ignore. However, it is one of the most critical considerations in every remodeling project of this sort.

First, you need to ensure every room has the appropriate flooring. Secondly, the contractor needs to use a material that is sturdy, non-porous to a high degree, and firm. It should also be easy to clean, especially if you have service animals at home with you. Lastly, it should be smooth enough for a wheelchair to roll on but also not prone to causing slips and trips.

There are various kinds of materials you can explore for this sort of project. Wood flooring is a great option, but it can be expensive. You can also try laminate or vinyl flooring. These materials are the least expensive but one of the most durable you can use. Ceramic and tile floors should only be in the bathrooms and kitchen.

#2. Accessible Stairways, Doors, and Walkways

Ease of mobility is essential, especially for an individual with disabilities. After flooring, your next most important consideration should be how easy it is for your loved one to come into and move around the house.

For exits and entries, you can buy outdoor stairlifts or ramps depending on the vertical height of your entryway. The available space also plays a part in which of these options you should end up acquiring. With this sorted, your child shouldn’t find it difficult to descend or ascend the stairs at any point in time.

You also need to ensure the doorways and walkways are wide enough and have no encumbrances that might limit movement. Look out for floorboards or other odd design features that could trip or injure an unsuspecting person.

#3. Electrical and Home Systems

The first thing to do here is to ensure that all electrical controls are within reach of everyone in the home. It means that all the switches should be easy to operate—no need to get fancy and sophisticated with the controls. Also, be sure to consider the position and height of the various light switches and electrical outlets when designing the home.

In recent times, technology has made it possible to control your lights and thermostats from the comfort of your couch or bed. These smart home systems are excellent for people who have mobility impairments. You can control the lighting, temperature, air conditioner, home security systems, and much more with automated voice technology. Smart home systems such as Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, Nest, and Ring are great examples of how technology can make a home more friendly and accessible for a person with disabilities.

The Bottomline

These three factors are the most important considerations your designer needs to get right when remodeling your home for your loved one with disabilities. Once you and the contractor sort out these plans, life can be much more comfortable and fun for everyone in the home.

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