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Cost of Making Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

How Much Does Accessibility Remodeling Cost?

The cost of remodeling your home to accommodate a wheelchair will be determined by several different factors. The size and scope of your project will depend on your family’s unique set of circumstances. A remodeling contractor will work with you to make your home as accessible as possible and improve you or your loved one’s quality of life.

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Your geographic location. The cost of remodeling your home will depend on where you live. As a general rule of thumb, prices for labor and materials tend to be higher in large cities and metropolitan areas. If you live in New York City or San Francisco, you should expect to pay above average prices.

Things to Consider Before You Begin:

1) Compliance with ADA Standards. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prevents discrimination against people with disabilities and ensures that they have equal access to all public spaces. Any structural modifications should comply with the ADA’s accessibility design guidelines. For more information about ADA Standards, continue reading here.

2) Your home’s resale value. Before making any structural modifications to your home, you should consider the impact they may have on the resale value of your home. Some changes may turn away potential buyers down the road.

General home modifications. It’s likely that you will need to change some things about the interior and the exterior of your home. Some projects include:

- Widening doors and hallways to accommodate a wheelchair
- Adding a laundry chute to avoid trips up and down the stairs
- Installing windows that can be operated by a hand crank
- Moving a bedroom and bathroom to the first floor
- Lowering the height of door knobs and light switches
- Adding an accessible closet in the bedroom

Options for Getting Around Without the Stairs

1) Home elevators are becoming increasingly popular in residential setting. Home elevator installation costs can vary greatly, depending the number of stories in your home and the type of elevator you choose.

2) Wheelchair platform lifts (or porch lifts) can be installed indoors and outdoors. The cost of putting in a wheelchair lift will depend heavily on the amount of vertical rise required.

3) Some people just need a little help getting up and down the stairs. This is a good option for seniors. A stair lift can be attached directly to your existing staircase. The cost of stairlift installation is typically lower if you have a straight staircase, rather than one with curves and landings.

4) Accessibility ramps can be used for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and walkers. Ramps can be constructed of concrete, wood, or metal. Each style of ramp comes at a different price point. Building a custom ramp is typically more expensive than installing a prefabricated metal ramp. Check out this article for more about the cost of wheelchair ramp construction.

Bathroom remodeling. There are several different ways to improve the accessibility of your bathroom, including:

- Installing grab bars near toilet and shower
- Putting in a walk-in tub or roll-in shower
- Adding a seat to an existing shower
- Raising the height of toilet seat
- Lowering the height of the sink and vanity

Kitchen modifications. In some cases, you may be able to make some minor modifications to improve the usability of your kitchen. In other cases, a full remodel may be necessary. You may need to:

- Lower the height of sinks and countertops
- Add pull-out drawers to cabinets
- Redesign the layout for easy access to appliances
- Widen kitchen aisle for wheelchair to pass
- Install a cooktop with staggered burners

Flooring options. Some types of flooring make it difficult for someone in a wheelchair to get around the house. Carpet, for example, is not easy to navigate. Hardwood and laminate flooring are both good options. When replacing flooring, make sure to avoid installing thresholds and bumpers between rooms as much as possible.

Garage remodeling. Is there enough room in your garage for a wheelchair accessible vehicle? If it's raining or snowing outside, you'll want to be able to exit the car from the comfort and safety of the garage. If you have two single garage doors, you may need to replace them with a large double door (with an automatic opener).


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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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