Addressing Accessibility and Housing
Over time, our housing needs may change, sometimes as a result of aging or ill-health. Accessible home renovations can be an important way to ensure the ongoing liveability of a house.
The good news is that changing physical needs don’t necessarily mean that you have to move from your beloved home. At Highridge Fine Homes, we specialize in making existing housing 100% accessible for people with different abilities.
Making a house useable for a person with ability issues is all-encompassing and affects the overall design of a home.
Start From the Outside In…
Easy access from the driveway, across walkways to porches and into the home is a good beginning. A zero step entry is necessary for wheelchair users and automated doors may be another option. Paralleling the need for easy access is a corresponding requirement to address evacuation concerns. This applies to all doors, including ones leading to the garden.
Inside, care must be taken with all traffic areas to ensure they have pathways wide enough for a wheelchair to negotiate, with areas built in for turns. The type of flooring used must be balanced between the need for easy mobility versus concerns of slipping.
The kitchen is one work area that requires a great deal of attention. Counters must be at a level that allows the homeowner to work, with ample room underneath for a wheelchair to fit. Cupboards should be lowered. Lighting fixtures must be reachable. Every corner of the kitchen must be accessible and not blocked off by a table or counter. Even issues of garbage disposal should be addressed – how can a bag of trash be best moved outside?
Liveability Includes Views!
There is no sense in owning a home with a lovely view if it can only be seen by those who can stand. Windows should be lowered to allow views from wheelchair height, as well as enabling opening and closing.
Getting upstairs may require the installation of an escalator-type chairlift using an existing staircase or building an elevator.
Bathrooms should be on every floor, and to be wheelchair accessible, they must be larger in size with ample turning room. Bathroom fixtures are available to suit every kind of ability. Showers and tubs can be configured for walk-in use, with added luxuries like a steam shower or sauna. As with the kitchen, countertops and storage spaces need to be thought through and heights need to be adjusted accordingly.
Custom building or renovating a home to suit the requirements of a new ability level is a complex process, with an amazing number of considerations. It requires a builder who is knowledgeable in accessibility issues and keen to take on the challenge of creating a safe living area that suits all abilities.
Highridge Fine Homes prides itself on accessible home renovations that do not sacrifice the architectural integrity of the home.