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Handicap Remodeling
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


Preparing a home for handicap accessibility is a very complex task. The remodeling must eliminate the effects of disability within the home. Certain areas require more attention, especially the dangerous areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. Certain disabilities will require an area to become wheelchair accessible, and be equipped with safety measures which include hand rails and height adjustments on countertops.

The kitchen is a critical area for disability remodeling. The most obvious adjustment must be made to the walk ways, door jams and other moving areas. The width of such areas must be able to accommodate for wheelchairs and walkers to pass by comfortably. Kitchen counters and faucets should also be remodeled. The height of countertops can be adjusted, the edges can be made rounded, and faucets can be equipped with extended handles for easy use. Also, the depth of a sink should be taken into consideration for those that are using a wheelchair.

The bathroom is another room that should be carefully modified to ensure handicap accessibility. It is absolutely necessary to install hand held shower heads, floor traction for the tub, and grab bars. Also, faucets and sinks should be reconfigured to accommodate to someone in a sitting position. Some conditions may require you to replace your toilet as well. In addition, both the kitchen and bathroom can be equipped with sliding cabinets for easy access.

Other adjustments include making at least one door accessible for a wheelchair, building a wheelchair ramp, and expanding the driveway and porch. For interior concerns, it is recommended to installing lower light switches and higher electrical outlets. For people who have limited vision, it is suggested to use bright exuberant colors to help one distinguish between doorways, walls, countertops, and furniture. Painting different rooms with contrasting colors will also help with depth perception.

New technologies have made it possible for people restrained to a wheelchair to make it to the second floor of their home with an electronic chair rise. Other new technologies include machines that lift and guide wheelchairs to higher surfaces, such as porches and elevated door ways. It is often a difficult task having these helpful enhancements installed, but they will definitely eliminate the effects of disability within the home.

As you can see, there are many remodeling techniques and precautions that need to be taken seriously when modifying a home for disability. Some adjustments are minor and others will require the help of a professional.

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