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Home Hacks

Online Exclusive posted Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - 10:57am

Remodel remedies to make your home easily wheelchair accessible

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When creating a home that’s wheelchair accessible, nothing goes unconsidered — counter heights, sink placement, hallway widths, entrances, stairs, the list continues. We’ve scoured around and found four inventive ideas for making a beautiful and functional home.

False cabinet doors: You need to leave space under stovetops, sinks and other surfaces to be able to roll right up to the edge, but rather than leaving the open space bare with visible pipes and plumbing, add cabinet doors. Choose doors that match the other surfaces in the room for a seamless look. They will look like real cabinets, but when needed, just open up the doors and roll right up to wash your hands, cook dinner or do the dishes.


Drawer dishwasher: Traditional dishwashers have a door that swings outward and is usually low to the ground making it hard to load, unload and even close the door. A drawer dishwasher can be installed right at wheelchair height. To load or unload the machine, just pull the handle and the out slides the dish rack. When it comes time to shut it, push the drawer closed without having to fumble to get it back up from the floor. You can even get two — one on each side of the sink — for maximum efficiency when loading.

Drawer turned workspace: In homes where counters might be too high for them to really be useful for someone in a wheelchair, an easy fix is to switch some of the top drawers to pull out workspaces. The front will look like a drawer, but when you pull it out it’s actually a flat surface that can be used as a cutting board or just a reachable workspace for cooking.

Landscaped wheelchair ramp: Rather than installing an industrial-looking ramp in front of your house, include the ramp in your landscaping. Use stone to create a path from the sidewalk or driveway that makes a gradual ascent up to the front door. A landscaper can create this effect by filling in dirt if the front yard doesn’t have a natural slant.

 

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