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Tips For Making A Home Accessible

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Do you need to retrofit an older home for additional accessibility for yourself or a mobility-impaired family member? While building a new home that fits your exact needs is best, it may not be a possibility.

Accessible homes are in demand making the expense to create a workable home worth it, as mobility-accessible homes sell quickly and for a higher listing price. To sell a home as a fully accessible home and for the best price, it must conform to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design codes. Here are some less expensive tips to make an existing home more accessible.

Attach Carpets

Carpets are commonly installed and attached to a wood frame around the perimeter, but not elsewhere. Bunching in the center of a room is common over time, especially if a wheelchair is used, which further hampers mobility of those in wheelchairs or using walkers. Glue carpets to the carpet pads underneath to avoid bunching. If the carpet needs replacing, go with tile, laminate, wood or vinyl flooring instead. These hard flooring types are easier to maneuver over if in a wheelchair.

Use Motion-Detection Outside Lights

It can be difficult to go outside in dark or bad weather. Installing lights that turn on when someone gets close to them make it easier to have guests at night. Plus, it saves energy and keeps you from having to remember to turn them on and off.

Add Grab Bars

Add grab bars to prevent slips and falls. These must be added to conform to ADA accessibility standards.

Alter Sinks And Counters

Remodel bathroom and kitchen sinks to those that require plumbing in back, which will leave room for knees when sitting in a wheelchair and washing. Adjust counter heights for comfort, depending on wheelchair height.

Remove Thresholds

Any thresholds between rooms should be removed to create smooth movement throughout the home for wheelchairs and walkers. If installing new flooring, remove the thresholds and ensure that the flooring is seamless.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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