How to Make Your Home Accessible on a Budget

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Are you looking to make your home more handicap accessible? 

If you're considering such a project, you know firsthand just how expensive and time-consuming these renovations are. When you consider how this may impact your bank account, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. 

Fortunately, we're here to share some good news with you. The truth is, transitioning your home to be more handicap accessible doesn't have to break the bank. In fact, there are countless strategies to help improve the functionality of your home that are relatively wallet-friendly. 

If you've been stressing about making your home more handicap accessible, you're going to want to read this. We're sharing six simple and inexpensive improvements that will allow your home to be more handicap accessible and functional. 

1. Make Bathrooms More Accessible 

One of the challenges that people with handicaps encounter often is utilizing the bathroom. Between using the toilet and cleansing themselves, this can feel like a time-consuming nightmare. 

Fortunately, there are small and inexpensive adjustments that can be made to the bathroom. While not all bathrooms must be altered to accommodate the new changes, it's important for the main floor bathroom to be. To do so, it's most important focus on the toilet, the shower and the removal of lower cabinetry.

First, you can purchase an elevated raised toilet seat to fix onto your toilet. This makes it easier to transition from the toilet back into your usual position. Next, you're going to want to install handrails in your shower to reduce the risk of falling. Lastly, it's essential to remove any lower cabinetry that makes it difficult for a wheelchair to maneuver the space. 

2. Remove Carpeting in High Traffic Areas 

When it comes to ease of mobility, it's safe to say that carpeting doesn't mesh well with wheelchairs or walkers. 

When a wheelchair is competing against the grain of the carpet, it creates more pressure. As a result, it makes it more difficult to move and change directions. Carpet also increases the chance of tripping and getting caught in the carpeting. 

For this reason, many homeowners will choose to remove their carpeting. Of course, this doesn't mean that all carpeting must be removed. If you're serious about staying under budget, stick to removing the carpeting in high traffic areas. 

In place of carpeting, it's relatively inexpensive to install linoleum tile or laminate flooring. This type of flooring makes it much more simple to move around and reduces the risk of accidents. 

3. Rearrange Kitchen Essentials 

For a handicap accessible home, it's best for the kitchen essentials to be as low as possible. 

In many kitchens, essentials such as pantry items as well as plates and glassware are kept in the upper cabinetry. This means that you generally have to reach upwards to retrieve these items. For those in a wheelchair, it's clear that this isn't going to work. 

A simple change is to replace the contents of the ground storage with the essentials. From here, less-essential items such as seasonal items and small appliances will be kept in the upper cabinetry. 

This makes it easy to access daily items throughout the day. It also reduces extreme instances of frustration and potentially dangerous situations. 

4. Widen Doorways 

When it comes to widening doorways, there's no denying that this is an absolutely necessary step. Although most wheelchairs will fit through a doorway that is 30 inches wide, professionals recommend opting for 32 inches to be comfortable. 

This is why many homeowners will choose to have their doorways professionally widened. While this is effective, it's also incredibly expensive and a relatively extreme repair. 

Instead of doing this, you can easily widen your doorways by removing the door as well as the hinges. You can also take this one step further by removing the woodwork or the trim that surrounds the doorway. 

Doing this is going to award you a few inches of space that are sure to make a difference. This small-scale repair can be completed very simply and doesn't require the hiring of professionals. 

5. Install a Basic Wheelchair Ramp 

When making a home handicap accessible, there's no avoiding building an access ramp. After all, this is how you will gain access to and from the house in a manner that is effortless and safe. 

When budgeting isn't an issue, many homeowners will install an automatic lift that transports the individual from the ground to the deck or doorway. However, this is both expensive and may affect the future resale of the home. While these ramps are expensive to install, the majority of homeowners will not profit on this installation when selling the home

Fortunately, purchasing a basic and temporary ramp is not all that expensive and can be installed easily. If this is the first wheelchair ramp that you've ever purchased, read more to learn how to select the right one. 

6. Remove Unnecessary Furniture and Belongings 

Last but not least, it's time to minimize your belongings and opt for the simple life.

In removing household furniture and items that are no longer necessary, you'll create more space and functionality. By doing this, you're making it significantly more simple and enjoyable to access all points of the home and avoid being crowded by furniture. 

Not only is this step incredibly effective in creating valuable space, but it's also incredibly free. Within a few days, you'll be shocked as to how much you enjoy simplified, minimal living! 

Handicap Accessible: Home Edition

Today, it's reported that over 40 million Americans are suffering from a disability.

Of this population, only a small percentage will be able to transform their home to suit their disability. For many, this is because such a transformation can be incredibly expensive and involve major renovations. 

Fortunately, there are simple ways to make your home more handicap accessible without taking a significant hit to your bank account. This will allow yourself or your loved one to live more comfortably and safely within the home. 

If you're considering transitioning your home, be sure to use this handicap accessibility guide to help you along the way. While these changes are minor and inexpensive, they are incredibly worthwhile and will make a significant difference in your life.

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