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Thread: Home Modifications

  1. #1

    Home Modifications

    I'm buying a house and looking into finding the approximate costs of modifying doorways in my house. I only will have a few, most are either double doors or arches, I also have a pocket door going to the master bath and would like to double that one...

    So what is the approximate cost to expand a normal doorway to a wheelchair accessible doorway?

    Does anyone know how much it costs to put in a pocketdoorway?

    Oh, and I have a seperate tub/shower, I would like to modify the shower, so that he can just wheel into it, any other advice for bathrooms???

    Any help/info/details/advice would be greatly appreciated. I didn't really know where to put this thread, I figured 'equipment' would work.

    Thanks a ton.
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, margarita in one hand - chocolate in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!"

  2. #2
    For doorways, there is no real way to say without seeing the door and assessing the situation. If it is a load-bearing wall, it is more difficult. If the doorway is in a corner, it may be more difficult. Best bet is to get at least 3 bids from contractors, and check out their credentials. Sometimes you can get by without widening a doorway but by just putting in set-back hinges.

    Use tile for the roll-in shower. Be sure you have non-slip tile for the floor (not needed for the walls). Be sure it is properly sloped, but without an abrupt "curb". Put in a ceiling heater or heat lamp to take off the chill (safer than a wall heater). A ceiling hung shower curtain is nicer than a pole.

    Put mirrors all the way to the sink with a medicine cabinet mounted (built in preferably) within reach at wheelchair height. Include a faucet that will allow you to easily wash hair at the sink if he doesn't want to take a full shower. Put in extra electrical outlets (grounded of course) in the bathroom in case you want to add equipment later. A wall-hung sink is best, but it needs to be framed in correctly for support or can be unsafe. Of course it needs insulation underrneath. Consider a ceiling track lift if you can afford it (bedroom and bathroom at least).

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Norm's Avatar
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    I was wondering if there are any good accessible house designs. I may build a duplex to rent one side out so that will help pay for the other side that I will live in.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Aly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse
    Include a faucet that will allow you to easily wash hair at the sink if he doesn't want to take a full shower.
    (KLD)
    Glad to know other people do this, I thought it was just my occasional laziness.
    www.cawvsports.org
    The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Don Juan Matus
    We are Virginia Tech… We must laugh again… No one deserves a tragedy… We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid…We are better than we think and not quit what we want to be…We are the Hokies…We will prevail, we will prevail, we will prevail. We ARE Virginia Tech! ~ Nikki Giovanni

  5. #5
    There's a book here that we're finding very helpful for my dad's homecoming: www.trspace.com

    I posted something about it earlier, but it shows it's been moved..... I don't know where it was moved to, or I'd point you to the original post.... heh

    Good luck! There are soooooooooo many things to think of. I'm sure it's going to be a work in progress for us as we start to use all the things that are in the planning stages right now...

  6. #6
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    I agree with previous comments that determining exact costs for doors and other retros is difficult. When I returned home after rehab, I was fortunate enough to have a prior work relationship with the SC Vocational Rehabilitation agency. They actually provided an Engineer free of charge to visit my home and advise all structural enhancements that would be required to make my residence work for me. Also they assisted in locating contractors to make changes as well as provided assistance in paying for those changes. Might be an option you can check into at the state level in your area.

  7. #7
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what level injury you are dealing with, but before hacking a house apart to make it accessable, find out if you really need all that work. Most doorways are already big enough to accomodate a chair, and a tub bench works great (and cheaper too) than a roll-in shower.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Norm's Avatar
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    Some of us can't tranfer to a bench. The less tranfers the better. I go from bed to shower chair & back.

  9. #9
    Some of the keys to making a house accessible / adaptable:

    1. Entry. If possible, two ways. If you want to be less obtrusive concerning the front entrance then a ramp in the garage might work. Or maybe configure a back door entrance.

    2. Bathroom. Raised sink and counter, roll-in shower or transfer bench and no door can help with space. Curtain for privacy might work.

    3. Kitchen. Access to water, pantry, refrigerated food.

    As far as doorways are concerned I agree with Andy's assessment. However, you can also determine if your chair is as narrow as it can be before you go making modifications. Sometimes 1/2" on either (side) wheel can make the difference between entry / no-entry.

  10. #10
    All of your advice is great, Thank you...

    I think I have been lucky, the only house that I liked is also the most accessible... He can get to every room in the house with no problem, except the master bedroom walk-in closet and that only gives him issues because it's a folding door and the door itself gets in the way, so i'll just take it off.

    Even the bathroom doesn't look too bad. I definitely don't want him to have to transfer 'too' much, i just think (i could be ignorant on this one, since i'm not the one dealing with it) that it looks exhausting, so why waste the energy when i would rather he use that energy at PT/OT, or getting in and out of a car.

    I think the kitchen is going to be hard, especially since this is not going to be our permanent home. We both just want this to be an investment, so we don't want to do HUGE alterations to the kitchen... but i really want him to be able to USE the kitchen... do any of you out there have any hints/advice on work arounds for difficult kitchens? or just kitchens in general?

    I figure he can use the table for a workspace, but what about stoves and sinks???? honestly, i just don't see things from his situation and don't want to assume that i have an idea of what he is dealing with, i would rather just get real information from people who see the issues daily.

    Oh, he is a c6-c7, para, incomplete, asia b, he can move his arms and is very strong, but he has lost alot of dexterity and strength in his hands...very independent so far, but is still building his strength back, so he does get tired out. I would really like the house to be pretty easy for him and not another battle that he has to deal with everyday...

    So far, your advice has been great... Thank you.
    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, margarita in one hand - chocolate in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!"

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