Making Your New Home Accessible

2/24/2015

During her decade in real estate, Terrie Ball has worked with all kinds of clients, from senior citizens to young families, from multi-generational households to households for groups of single roommates. Any one of these clients could have accessibility needs for a number of reasons – disability, aging, several small children, or others. Terrie Ball knows the advantages of universal design and would like to show you how to make your home accessible.

Handicap Accessibility

One of the most common accessibility issues occurs when clients use wheelchairs. They should be able to enter and exit the home independently, get through doorways, and use the bathroom. If you have a loved one with a wheelchair, speak to your realtor and local contractors about replacing stairs with ramps. Make sure your bathroom has a shower seat or accessible tub, an accessible toilet, and grab bars where appropriate. If your loved one will need a medical bed, ensure your home has at least one well-lit, spacious, and public room where it will fit.

Cautions for Small Children

Everyone in your household may be able-bodied, but you might still need modifications. If you have small children and are moving into a home with steep staircases, make sure secure railings are present. Watch out for hazards such as decks with no steps or railings, swimming pools, and easily manipulated locks. Invest in safety alarms for pools, hot tubs, or decks, and ask your realtor for childproofing tips. Inspect your future yard for potholes, rocks, and other hazards. If you have a gravel driveway, consider paving it. Small children are likely to trip and fall on gravel or try to put it in their mouths.

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