Do you want to make your house a home that is functional, comfortable and safe? You may want to consider how accessible your home is for future you and loved ones with mobility limitations.
This blog will help you understand the importance of accessibility in making a house a comfortable, functional and safe home as well as answer some popular questions such as, how can adding space to a home make it more accessible? And What are the pros and cons of installing a lift for accessibility?
Why should you make your house more accessible?
If you adore your home and plan on growing old there, at some point you might need to factor in how accessible it is for people with joint or mobility issues. If you plan on selling in the future, an accessible home design can increase the value of your home.
How can I make my house wheelchair accessible?
To make your house a home that is wheelchair accessible for you or a family member, here are some of the important factors included in wheelchair accessible house plans in Australia.
1. Easy entrance via a ramp
Front yard and backyard ramps are easy additions to make when turning a current home into a wheelchair accessible home. Even a single storey home with one stair leading up to the front door can make a person with mobility limitations feel unwelcome. There are a number of different designs and materials to choose from depending on what the current design of your front and back entrances are like.
2. Comfortable door width for wheelchair access
Did you know the average door width in an Australian home is 820mm, with some door widths sitting far below that number. But, how wide is a wheelchair? The average wheelchair dimensions in Australia are between 635mm – 914mm. The average wheelchair in Australia requires 850mm of space to comfortably move through an open doorway, and that includes no door handles or door stops obstructing the space. Widening your doorways to the appropriate wheelchair door width can simply be completed by removing the door frame or changing your hinges to ensure your doors open wider and don’t obstruct the doorway.
3. Safe and accessible mobility with residential elevators
Retrofitting your current home with a wheelchair elevator or disabled stair lift can greatly increase the safety, comfort and functionality for people with mobility limitations. Wheelchair lifts for houses and wheelchair lift for stairs come in many sizes, load capacities and are easily customisable.
If you would like to learn more about retrofitting a wheelchair elevator into your current home, we recommend next reading 6 reasons why installing a home elevator is a good idea.
4. Bathroom safety features
Wheelchair accessible bathrooms include plenty of space to turn around comfortably, as well as safety rails around the toilet and shower. In addition, non-slip bathroom flooring is important to increase safety.
How do I make my room accessible?
The following tips can help make your house a home by enhancing functionality, comfort and accessibility. Whether you are designing a bedroom for you or a family member with mobility problems.
The best place to start is by choosing a bed that caters for people with joint and mobility problems. Adjustable beds that can be lowered and raised make getting in and out of bed easier and safer for people in a wheelchair. In addition, adjustable beds can be easily changed into a variety of supported positions, such as sitting up and reading, at the click of a button.
Next, consider your wardrobe space and whether it will be easy for a person in a wheelchair to get dressed in the morning. If not, some easy ways to make your wardrobe more accessible is installing automatic closet bars that can be lowered to sitting level. Opting for clear or wire drawers enables a person in a wheelchair to find what they are looking for faster without having to open every drawer first.
What are the pros and cons of installing a lift for accessibility?
PROS of installing a wheelchair elevator in your home:
- Add value to your home
- Improve access to all floors in the house
- Offer disabled/limited mobility accessibility
- Future proof your property as you grow older
- Allow smoother transportation of large or heavy items from floor to floor
- Provide wheelchair accessibility in your home to grandparents or loved ones with mobility limitations.
CONS of installing a wheelchair elevator in your home:
- Installing a wheelchair elevator or wheelchair lift for stairs can be a substantial investment. However, research shows that adding an elevator to your home can significantly increase the value of your home in the long term.
- A wheel chair elevator can take up space in your home. However, a specialist team will be able to provide helpful advice on where the best area is to install a residential elevator.
Who can you talk to about your elevator needs?
Making your house a home involves a balance of functionality, comfort as well as accessibility and safety. Whether you want to future-proof your forever home, add value to its selling price or ensure loved ones with joint or mobility problems feel welcome, retrofitting a residential elevator into your existing home can increase your property’s potential.
With a wide range of cabin sizes, innovative features and elegant designs to choose from, Platinum Elevators’ experienced and knowledgeable team can help you design an elevator that’s right for you.