Considerations for Building a Home When You Have a Family Member with Mobility Issues

17 May 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Hiring a custom home builder to build your next home is an exciting process for each member of your family, as he or she can provide input to make the new dwelling meet everyone's needs. There are many factors to consider when you're having a custom home designed, including the mobility of your family members. If you have a child in a wheelchair, for example, this will dramatically change how the house will look. Here are some things that you'll want to include in the house design to address this situation.

Main-Level Bedroom

You may wish to strongly consider building a bungalow if one of your family members is in a wheelchair. Although you can add a chairlift to the staircase to help him or her get to the upper floor of the home, it may make more sense to have everything your loved one needs on the ground floor. If you do opt for a two-level home, you may wish to consider a bedroom on the main level. This placement, provided that it gives your family member some privacy, can make life easier for him or her.

Wider Hallways

Generally, homes have hallways that are at least 36 inches wide. This width may suit most members of your family, but could be a little tight for someone trying to navigate the halls in a wheelchair. Talk to your home builder about wider hallways. You may wish to add another foot or perhaps even more to the width of the hallways throughout the home. This will make it easier for your family member to travel up and down the halls in his or her wheelchair, as well as limit the risk of scuffs and dents on the walls that you'll eventually have to deal with.

Accessible Bathrooms

You need to ensure that one or more of the bathrooms in your home offers a high degree of accessibility for your family member in a wheelchair. There are several things to consider. For example, the square footage of the room will have to be larger than a conventional bathroom. Additionally, the fixtures may need to be different—for example, a walk-in tub may be better than a standard bathtub. Or, you may simply with to have a large shower in the corner of the space. It's ideal to partner with a builder who has worked on accessible homes in the past, as he or she will make sure that each of your specific requests is addressed.