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Ways to Modify Your Home for Handicap Accessibility

May 3, 2021

A growing percentage of older Americans are choosing to remain in their homes or move in with their children instead of a nursing home. When that’s the case, there’s often the need to make these residences accessible for those with limited mobility. But that process entails much more than simply adding a ramp by the front door.

This post will cover everything you need to know about how to modify your home for handicap access in Fort Worth, TX.

Add a ramp near the entryway

We mentioned adding an entrance ramp above because that’s one of the first projects for making a home more accessible. A sturdy ramp ensures anyone with a wheelchair can access the home, and it makes it easier for folks with walkers to get inside.

Your entrance ramp doesn’t necessarily have to be at the front door, either. In some cases, it makes more sense to add it in the garage.

Add a first-floor bedroom and bathroom

Many multi-floor homes these days don’t have a bedroom and a full bathroom on the first floor—that’ll have to change if someone with limited mobility is moving into your home. The only workaround for this would be adding a stairlift or an elevator, but that’s a bigger hassle than adding a new bedroom and bathroom (which can boost your home’s resale value).

Retrofit the bathroom

If you don’t have to add a bathroom, you’ll at least need to retrofit one for handicap accessibility. The bathroom will need grab bars near the toilet and a roll-in shower or a shower with a low lip. While only one bathroom in your home needs to be updated to meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) criteria, it doesn’t hurt to retrofit more than one.

Widen doorways and hallways

Folks in wheelchairs or those who use walkers need more space to maneuver down the hallway and fit through doors. One big part of how to modify your home for handicap access in Fort Worth, TX is widening your hallways and doorways to be at least 36 inches wide.

Add more lighting

Low lighting can be a tripping hazard for anyone, but it’s especially tough for those with limited mobility. Ensure all of your overhead lighting is strong and can be easily controlled with a reachable light switch. It’s also not a bad idea to look into lights that are voice-controlled.

Lower the countertops and shelves

Homeowners can take high countertops and shelves for granted until they’re wheelchair users. Make sure there’s plenty of low storage space in the kitchen and bathrooms and that there’s at least some counter space designed for individuals in wheelchairs.

Let us help make your home accessible

You can’t hire just any contractor to modify a home for handicap accessibility—be sure to choose our pros at The RockAway Company. We have over 30 years of experience in modifying homes to meet ADA and MDCP (Medically Dependent Children Program) accessibility standards. Contact us today to learn more about how to modify your home for handicap access in Fort Worth, TX or to get a quote for our services.

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