Does Your Child Use A Wheelchair? 4 Tips To Help You Design An Accessible Home

There's nothing better than designing your own custom home. Once you're done, you can relax knowing that everything is to your liking. Now that you've decided to build a custom home, it's time to get down to the details. If you have a child who's confined to a wheelchair, this is the perfect opportunity to create a truly accessible space for them. Not sure where to start? Here for four simple additions that will make your home more livable for your child.

Widen the Doors

The doors in your current home might work well for your child now. However, as they grow, the size of their wheelchair will change. What's convenient now, might not be so convenient later. While you're designing your new home, consider the size of an adult-sized wheelchair. Make sure that the doorways are wide enough for your child to pass through now, and later.

Lower the Windows

You want your child to be able to look out at the world. However, they're not going to be able to do that if the windows are installed too high. If you can't see through your windows from a seated position, neither can your child. To make sure that your child will be able to enjoy the view from their bedroom window – or any other windows in your new home – talk to your contractor about lowering the height to a level that's accessible from a seated position.

Open Up the Sinks

Sinks that have built-in cabinets underneath are virtually inaccessible to someone in a wheelchair. That inaccessibility can make it impossible for your child to take care of their own personal hygiene needs. Now that you're designing your own home, consider opening up the space under the sinks. Leaving the space under the sink open will allow your child to position themselves right up against the sink, which will make it easier for them to brush their teeth and wash their hands. While you're at it, remember to have the counters lowered so that your child doesn't have to stretch to reach the countertops.

Remember the Toilets

It's easy to take the toilets for granted, but if you have a child who's confined to a wheelchair, you can't. When designing an accessible bathroom, you've got to remember the toilets. First, choose a style that sits slightly higher than your typical toilet. Second, don't box your toilet in. Leave additional space in front of the toilet for the wheelchair. You should also leave space on one additional side of the toilet. This extra space will allow your child to pull their wheelchair right up to the toilet so they can comfortably lift themselves on and off.

You want your new home to be completely accessible to your child. Now that you're designing your new home, talk to your contractor, like David James Custom Homes, about including the suggestions provided here.