Are you or a member of your household disabled, and have trouble getting around your house? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010, over 56 million Americans live with a disability. LA Construction Company, Hugs Construction, can help you remodel your home to make it easy to get around in, and comfortable for the disabled person to live in.
Tips to Making Your Home Handicap Friendly
1. Wider Doors – Many homes, especially older ones, have doors that are simply too narrow for a person in a wheelchair to navigate through. However, your LA construction company can install wider doors in your home. “Wheelchairs need a minimum 32″ door for a straight in approach,” according to Adaptive Access. “If the doorway is located in the typical hallway and requires turning a wheelchair, you’ll need a 36″ door.” Your Los Angeles contractor will simply remove the old door, cut out parts of the wall, and possibly the studs, to accommodate a new, wider door, and then put in the door.
2. Wheelchair Ramps – Any steps or stairs leading to, or inside, the house will present a major issue to the person who needs a wheelchair to move around. Since a wheelchair cannot access stairs, you will need to have your LA construction company install wheelchair ramps on the outside and inside your home where steps or stairs are present. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 set strict guidelines for the materials that ramps should be made from, and guidelines to installing them. You can choose from installing wood, aluminum or concrete ramps. Wood is usually cheaper, but requires a lot of maintenance, and will usually last just a few years, especially if outside. Concrete is a better choice as it requires no maintenance, and will last much longer.
3. Accessible Roll in Shower – It can be next to impossible for a disabled person to get out of his or her wheelchair and lower him or herself into a bathtub. Therefore, showers are much easier for the handicap to use. However, the shower must also be wide enough to accommodate the person’s needs. Therefore, having your Los Angeles contractor install an accessible roll in shower is an idea worth considering. These showers have a wide door opening and a low threshold, so those in wheelchairs can easily roll right in.
Make sure that the shower has a grab bar or a handle bar that the person can hold unto while in the shower. These devices make it safer to be in the water as they prevent falls.
If possible, install a tub transfer seat in your shower, as well. This way, a caregiver can easily move the disabled person from the wheelchair right into the seat. This will make showering much easier for the person that cannot stand on his or her own.
4. Accessible Kitchen – It is important for the handicap person to be able to care for him or herself, if possible. One of the most important ways to do that is to be able to cook and have access to the kitchen. However, for a person in a wheelchair, traditional kitchens can be impossible to maneuver in. Therefore, your Los Angeles contractor will need to modify your existing space to make it accessible for the disabled. Start by making sure that your new kitchen will be ADA-compliant. Countertops need to be low enough that the person in a wheelchair can reach easily; the recommended height is between 28″ and 34″. Wall cabinets need to be low enough so that the disabled person can reach whatever is inside; cabinets shouldn’t be mounted more than 15″ above countertops.
Appliances also need to be considered when creating an accessible kitchen. Accessible Lifestyle recommends: “you want to lower or install the wall oven and microwave so they are approximately 31″ from the floor. Install an electric cook top unit with staggered burners and mount the controls on the top front or below the unit to eliminate reaching across hot burners.
For a range, look for a slanted control panel with recessed control knobs that are easy to hold and to turn. Front positioning of knobs and control panel signal lights will make the range easier and safer for those in wheelchairs. If possible, make the oven accessible from either side or search out an oven with a side-hinged door.
Raise the dishwasher 6″ to 8″ off the floor and locate the unit so it is accessible from either side.”
Hugs Construction has over 20 years of experience and is a full service construction company in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding Los Angeles area. We work on projects of all sizes, such as kitchen and bath remodeling, wiring and electric work, soundproofing, installing windows and doors, specialty projects and new constructions.
We pride ourselves on utilizing green products to sustain the environment. We strive to maintain high customer satisfaction with every job, making sure that our work lasts for many years to come.
To get a quote for your home renovation, contact us.