Wheelchair User-Friendly

See the many ways a home can be remodeled to improve accessibility--and enjoyment--for a homeowner who uses a wheelchair.

Wheelchair User-Friendly

A redesigned hilltop home takes in the view and provides wheelchair-accessible features indoors and out. The homeowner wanted to make the house more user-friendly for all his guests, whether they have mobility issues or not. As part of his home remodeling, he shifted the orientation of the entry away from the pool area and out toward the view. Double doors replace a single, solid front door to let in light.

Standard Guidelines

Black bookshelves on the diagonal give the homeowner space to display his collection of vintage memorabilia. When it comes to home remodeling to make them universally accessible, builders can follow standard guidelines, such as making doorways and hallways 4-6 inches wider than average.

Ceilings and Columns

New columns throughout the house lend a warm, classic touch to rooms that might otherwise feel cold because they are so open to one another. Ceilings were raised from 8 to 12 feet, and some walls were reconfigured to create a more expansive feel. This also makes it easier for the homeowner, who uses a wheelchair, to move through the house.

Modern Vintage

The kitchen is accented with beloved 1950s appliances including a Magic Chef range and a Northstar refrigerator. To make the room wheelchair accessible and easier for everyone to use, some countertops were lowered and a pot filler was added near the stove during the kitchen remodeling.

Lowered Workspaces

A lower kitchen sink with open space underneath makes a comfortable workspace for someone in a wheelchair.

Master Bathroom

Instead of a pedestal, two legs offer wheelchair-access beneath the sink in the master bathroom. In the bathroom remodeling, plenty of space was left around all the fixtures to make it easy to maneuver through the room.

Heading Outdoors

The homeowner wanted to experience the outdoors—not just look at it. Because windowsills in the house are intentionally low, just 18 inches from the floor, plants are arranged to look their best from inside. Wide paths were created throughout the gardens to accommodate a wheelchair. The paths are made of decomposed granite that is smooth enough for a wheelchair to roll over.

Planning for Wheelchairs

A ranch is remodeled to make it fully accessible for someone who uses a wheelchair. In this home remodeling effort, several interior walls are reconfigured and ceiling heights are raised to create a sense of spaciousness and light, along with wheelchair accessibility. Windows are enlarged and lowered to capture the view and allow the homeowner to see outdoors while seated. In the kitchen remodeling, accommodations include lower countertops, a drawer-style dishwasher, a below-cabinet refrigerator, and other user-friendly elements are added. Outdoor spaces are easily accessed through wide French doors.

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