Have you or a loved one recently needed to start using a wheelchair?
Perhaps you have an elderly parent coming to live with you who uses one. In that case, you will need to make your home wheelchair friendly.
Making your home wheelchair accessible may seem like a huge job, but it doesn’t need to be. A wheelchair accessible door can be installed easily. You can make your home wheelchair friendly easier than you might think.
Let’s look closer at what is needed to make your home more accessible for wheelchairs.
Install a Ramp
If you have stairs leading up to your door, you will need to install a ramp. It will need to be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the wheelchair and the person using it. There should also be guardrails on both sides for safety.
An electric wheelchair weighs more than a regular one, so keep that in mind when you are buying the materials. These do not need to be a permanent fixture and can be locked on when needed, then removed and stored away.
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Wheelchair Accessible Door
Your door frame will need to be at least 32 inches wide to accommodate the wheelchair. There are several things that will need to be adjusted along with the door frame.
Electric and Wiring
The light switches beside the door will likely need to be moved over when you resize the door. If you have electric sockets near the door, those will need to be moved. If you have a doorbell outside, that will also need to be refit.
If your door opens up to a small hallway, a wall, or tiny entryway, it will need to be widened or removed. Otherwise, the chair may have problems making a sharp turn from the doorway.
Many older homes have narrow hallways, which can be a problem for the person in the wheelchair. This can mean a lot of remodeling and extra cost.
To avoid remodeling the hallways, the person can use a smaller chair or perhaps a walker inside the home.
If the wheelchair needs to be used inside the home, you will need to make adjustments to other doors as well. This includes bathroom doors, bedroom doors, and any other doorways that are too small for the wheelchair to get through.
If there is a door for other common rooms, they could be removed altogether and the whole space widened.
If the cost of changing all the doors and hallways in your home is too expensive or too labor-intensive, you can always get a smaller chair for use inside the home.
These are foldable, store easily, and are designed for easy travel through the home.
Open Door Policy
You can replace your current door with sliding glass patio doors or install double doors. Either one will look great and not take up too much time or cost.
It’s not difficult to fit a wheelchair accessible door in your home. Please contact us for more information, an estimate, or any other questions you may have.