When someone buys a house, they don’t think that in the future they will have to make it wheelchair accessible, but it can happen. There may be an injury or illness that causes a person to be confined to a wheelchair, a parent may become disabled and have to move the home, or as the homeowner ages, they may find themselves in a wheelchair.

Here are some of the ways you can remodel your home to make it wheelchair accessible.

• At each entrance to the house, you must build a wheelchair ramp. Some homes have enough space to make a ramp, but if not, you can hire a professional home remodeling contractor to install a vertical lift platform at each entry. It’s a good idea to include a deck over the ramp, a non-slip surface, and handrails.

• For the stairs you must install a stair lift. This is a great alternative if you live in a two-story house because it is cheaper to install the elevator than to move. When installing a stair lift, you need to make sure it rotates to make it easier to get in and out. There are stairlifts on the market that will work even when your home loses power.

• Make sure doorways and floors are easy to pass with a wheelchair. The main problem homeowners see when they have a person in a wheelchair in their home is thick carpet. If possible, your entire house should have hardwood or tile flooring throughout the house. You can also choose to replace your carpet with low pile rugs. If thresholds are the problem, you can install short rubber ramps. If there are exposed wires on the floor, you will need to remove them.

• Another home remodeling job that will need to be done is widening doorways that are narrow. By doing this, the person confined to a wheelchair will be able to move freely in any area or room of the house. Doing this might involve removing the doors, reversing the way the door opens in some cases, and removing the door frames. Each doorknob should be turned down so they are easy to reach. You can also install an automatic door opener. These should be done by a professional home remodeling contractor.

• You will also need to make sure that both your kitchen and bathroom are accessible. In the bathroom, you may consider a walk-in bathtub or in a shower, you may need to lower the shower head. In the kitchen you have to make sure that appliances and sinks are accessible and the counter may have to be lowered.

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