If you or someone you love has a disability that requires the use of a wheelchair, you want to make sure that your new custom home is wheelchair accessible. Many homes have narrow doorways and front steps that make it difficult to navigate with a wheelchair. Without special planning, there may be areas of the home that you or your family member won't be able to get to. Here are three design features that will ensure your entire home is wheelchair friendly.
The Entry is Crucial
When designing your home, you should start with the entry. This is particularly important if the entry is elevated. To ensure easy entry access for wheelchairs, each entry point should be equipped with a zero-step ramp. If there is a steep incline in your yard, you should make sure that the design of your ramp is long enough to reduce the slope. To help your zero-step ramp blend into the landscaping, you might want to consider designing a curved ramp. Not only will the ramp blend in with the landscaping, it will also create a less drastic slope.
Expand the Doorways
Wheelchairs don't always fit through traditional doorways. Be sure to include wider doorways in the plans for your home. A wheelchair accessible doorway should be at least 32' wide. This will allow wheelchairs to pass through without getting stuck, or scraping hands on door frames. It's important to note if a room is entered from a turn, such as bathrooms or bedrooms that are entered from the hallway, the doorway will need to be 36" wide. This will accommodate the wider turn needed to access the room.
There are several things to consider when designing a wheelchair-accessible bathroom. For instance, the bathroom will need to have enough room for a wheelchair to turn around in. It will also need to be wide enough for the wheelchair to fit up against the toilet for easy transfer from chair to toilet. It's also important to consider the vanity when planning the bathroom. An accessible vanity will have a cut-out that will allow you or your loved one the ability to get closer to the sink for easier use.
You need your new custom home to be wheelchair accessible. The options provided above will ensure easy access throughout the house. Be sure to speak to your contractor about other features that might make your home more wheelchair-friendly.