3 Tips for Designing a Wheelchair-Friendly House

Friday September 11, 2020

Designing a home is no easy task, particularly when you have to take particular functionality issues into account, such as those that come into play when you need to make a home accessible to a wheelchair. Not only do you need to make certain adjustments in terms of layout and space, but you also might need to install certain pieces of equipment in order to help someone in a wheelchair get about the place safely and effectively.


If you are in the process of designing or rearranging your home so that it is more accessible for someone in a wheelchair, here are three things that you should consider doing to make your home easier for them to get around:


1. Start with the Stairs


The first and arguably most important thing that you will need to address when you are designing a wheelchair-friendly house is the manner in which someone in a wheelchair will be able to get up and down the stairs. If your house has stairs that lead up to the entrance, then you will need to have some sort of lift or ramp installed.


Interior stairs might require some more complex equipment in order to make them wheelchair accessible. You can have certain types of mechanical lifts installed depending upon the layout of your stairs. Some houses are designed with additional landings while other sets of stairs might have corners. You might need to have a professional assess your stairs to see what sort of lift would be appropriate. You can find a selection of lifts that you can choose from at Terry Lifts.


2. Bathrooms


Another key point that you will need to address has to do with the wheelchair accessibility of the bathrooms in your home. Firstly, the entrance of the bathroom needs to be wide enough for a wheelchair to comfortably enter and exit. You should look to have grab rails installed along any necessary walls as well.


The bathroom sink will need to be lower than the standard sink. Moreover, you might need to have a specially designed shower unit or bathtub installed. If the shower or tub that you already have is accessible already, you should look to purchase a shower seat at the very least.


3. Furniture Layout


The main living areas of your home are going to need to be designed with extra space in mind. In other words, if your furniture is too bulky or situated too close together then a wheelchair will not be able to manoeuvre around the room properly. Make sure that the pieces you have in the key living spaces of your home are spaced out accordingly.


You should also put some thought and research into the furniture pieces that you select for your home. Certain models of sofa recliners make for excellent choices as long as they are low enough for someone in a wheelchair to easily access. You can also find good quality beds that are low as well.