Remodeling for Accessibility

According to an AARP study, “roughly 80% of Americans age 45 and older prefer to age in place”, meaning they want to stay in their current homes or communities. When remodeling your home, it’s important to think about the future. If you are remodeling your home at age 50, it wouldn’t make sense to remodel your home again soon in order to make your home more accessible. Today we will feature some important remodels to include when remodeling to make your home more accessible.


First let’s talk about arguably the largest accessibility obstacle that every home has, even if you have a single-story home. Stairs offer a problem for not only those in wheelchairs but anyone that has limited mobility. Whether it’s the stairs leading to your home, or the stairs leading to the second floor, a ramp can remedy the situation. Mandated to be a minimum of 36 inches wide, ramps differ in price due to material, quality, and where they will be installed.


Wheelchair, Accessible, Ramp, Access, Handicapped


If a ramp is simply not feasible, the next best bet would be to install a stairlift. A stairlift would be a great idea especially if the ramp would be too steep.


Stair Lift, Elevator, Trap, Adjustment, Disabled, Tool


Remove barriers
  • Regular bathrooms can be a nightmare for people that require spaces to be more accessible. Consider widening all doorways inside a home, which pose a barrier to people in wheelchairs.
  • Since showers get very wet and slippery, think about removing any tubs or anything that would create a barrier between going in and out of the shower.
  • Throw away any doorknobs as they can be difficult to use for people who have a hard time grabbing objects. Replace doorknobs or even faucets with anything that has a lever handle.
Rethink everything
  • The standard countertop sits right about 36 inches above the floor; considering slightly lowering all countertops.
  • Move all everyday items to your lower cabinets instead of your upper cabinets. Also place appliances near the sink and counters to help with tasks.
  • Place handrails everywhere you might need some extra help. Areas include toilets/showers/bathrooms, near the furniture you always use, and your kitchen.
  • Think about how you will move around when you remodel your flooring. Depending on your needs, thick rugs could pose a big of a challenge as tile would. Remove rugs that slip around easily.
  • When remodeling your shower, consider adding mats that will increase your traction and reduce your risk of falling.


Photo via Joffre Essley


When remodeling for accessibility, not every situation is the same. Talking to an expert regarding accessibility would be extremely helpful since the remodeling process can include a lot of different options or ideas that might not cross your mind.

If you think it’s time to make your home more accessible, give the experts at TR Design Build a call. We would love to help!

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