As many homeowners plan to age in place, having safety and convenience features in the home adds to the appeal for potential buyers. So it makes sense to consider accessibility needs while renovating or updating your home if you have plans to sell it in the near or distant future. Putting a bit of extra thought, time, and money into equipping the home for those with disabilities can pay dividends during resale.
1. Grab Bars and Railings Everywhere
Grab bars are inexpensive and easy to install, yet they are a thoughtful addition homeowners will appreciate. In addition to the obvious grab bars and railings in and near the tub and toilet, remember to add them anywhere there are stairs to a different level. That might include the front door, back door, garage, laundry room, or off the deck.
2. Widen or Remove Doorways
Your house might have a lot going for it in terms of accessibility. For example, perhaps it’s already a single-level home. However, occupants who use a wheelchair will also need to be able to get from one room to another. With this in mind, consider widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair’s width. Alternatively, remove unnecessary doorways altogether to create a more open flow.
3. Add Electronic Door Aids
Managing a door while using a wheelchair or walker is challenging. Make the task easier with automatic door locks that unlock with a code or a remote instead of a key. Also install auto-door openers that allow entry at the touch of a button.
4. Smart Technologies
We live in a smart world, and many devices can come to the aid of handicapped persons all around the home. During each upgrade, invest a bit in automation through the installation of programmable thermostats, smart doorbells, and video cameras.
Also install appliances with smart technology. The ability to control the washing machine, dryer, oven, and refrigerator from a central hub or cell phone adds a lot of autonomy for those with mobility issues.
5. Build a Ramp
Another obvious addition for a house that speaks to consideration for the handicapped is the use of ramps in lieu of stairs. Ramps can be part of the inside or outside of the house, with the entryway being the most common obstacle. Your ramp can be made from poured concrete or you can include it as part of a wood deck design.
6. Install High Toilets
During bathroom remodels, take a look at toilet options that make it easier for people with disabilities. Primarily this means installing a taller toilet, but you can also add a bidet feature for helpful automated cleaning.
7. Accessible Shower
If you’re replacing the shower anyway, it’s a good time to make sure the new design makes it easier to maneuver in and out. Either allow for a wheelchair entrance, or make the step very low for easy access.
8. Multi-level Counter Options
In both the kitchen and the bathroom, allow for better access from all levels with countertops at varying levels. In the bathroom, if the counter is at approachable height for wheelchair users, remove the cupboards underneath so they can roll up to the counter with room for the chair underneath.
9. Touch or Motion Faucets
Similarly, it’s much easier to take care of needs at the sink if the user can turn the water on and off with the wave of a hand or a slight touch.
10. Additional Closet Rods
Whether the closet has walk-in access or requires opening the doors, equipping the area with lower rods provides easier access for those in chairs. Similarly, provide drawers and shelves that are less than four feet off the ground.
11. Upgrade Lighting Indoors and Outdoors
Having outdoor security cameras not only allows occupants to monitor what’s going on outside, but some models are helpful when needing to communicate without answering the door. Installing cameras that also work as motion-sensored lights makes the outside of the house safer when arriving home or leaving in the dark. Other thoughtful touches include solar lighting along walkways, the driveway, and the entrance to the home.