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Barrier-free Living: Making Your Home More Accessible

Did you know that Works By JD has a selection of home improvements to make living spaces more handicap accessible?

Creating a barrier-free home can greatly improve the life quality of a person with a disability, as it gives more freedom and independence.

Imagine trying to maneuver around a house with normal-width doors, plugging in electronics at a floor-level outlet, or washing up in a standard height sink as a wheelchair user. Maybe this is your reality. For many people living with disabilities, these activities are manageable, but the restrictions in a standard house get in the way. Alternatively, they become dangerous if and when they are attempted.

So, what does a handicap-accessible home look like?

Grab bars

As one of the more affordable housing alterations, you’re probably familiar with grab bars and handrails. Securing them on the walls of a hallway or bathroom (perhaps in the shower or next to the toilet) provides stability as you’re walking around the house.

Another option for the shower is to add a shower seat or a shower chair.

Barrier free bathroom

Varying counter heights

Changing the height of a kitchen worktop means that wheelchair users can safely chop food at a waist-height (or thereabouts) rather than having to reach overhead. Activities like pouring from an electric kettle also become a lot safer.

Wheelchair accessible cooktop

Just like the countertops, having a lower stovetop with a space beneath is far safer for those who need to cook sitting down.

Raised power outlets

Even for people who aren’t wheelchair-bound, crouching down can be an issue if you have joint problems or are in your later years. Something as simple as changing the level of your power outlets can relieve the stress of what should be a thought-free process.

Electrician fitting an outlet

Wider doorways

Whether you use a walker, are in a wheelchair, or want to walk holding onto someone, removing your current door frame and creating a wider space will remove the hassle of getting through a regular-sized door. A wider doorway also creates a nice feature, especially if you frame it with rustic beams or decorative carpentry.

Raised dishwasher

As you’ve probably realized by now, levels are key when building a home with a universal design. Dishwashers are another tricky one because they are traditionally low to the ground. Taking your washer up a little will be appreciated by everyone and not just those who can’t reach the lower levels. Nobody enjoys going up and down like a yo-yo while loading the dishwasher!


Last but not least, ramps. Many entranceways have steps, which, for some, can cause problems. A simple solution is to add a ramp. It doesn’t have to take over your whole walkway; as long as there’s enough room for the wheel span of a chair, you can keep it to one side.

Build a ramp

Take a look at the WORKS By JD portfolio to see some of our finished projects.

#remodel #housingalterations #universalhome #homeimprovement #barrierfreeliving

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