How much does it cost to remodel to adapt for a disability?
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Disability Remodeling Cost Guide
Updated: December 21, 2022
Approximately 61 million American adults live with a disability. Therefore, it’s important to make homes safe and secure for people of all ages affected by disabilities. Homeowners are recommended to follow the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines on safe living spaces that are accessible and accommodating. With a few modifications, a house can become much more comfortable and easier to navigate for those with a disability and their loved ones.
Many options are available for home remodeling for the disabled, from putting in emergency alert buttons to installing wheelchair ramps and so much more. The national average cost ranges from $5,000 to $20,000 to remodel a home to accommodate residents with disabilities. Most homeowners pay $6,000 for a permanent concrete wheelchair ramp with railings. If you just need to make small changes, you can expect to pay as little as $350 to install sensor lights. However, some homeowners pay as much as $50,000 for comprehensive remodeling, including indoor and outdoor ramps, universal height sinks and counters, walk-in tubs, and widened hallways.
Disability Remodel Cost
|Home Remodeling for Disabled
|National average cost
Motor Disability Remodel Cost
Motor disabilities impact a person’s ability to move their body and use their gross and fine motor skills. Someone with a motor disability may be unable to walk or may need support to stand on their own. They may also have difficulties picking up objects or maintaining their balance. Examples of motor disabilities include spinal cord injuries, such as paraplegia or quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, ALS, spina bifida, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, or essential tremors. Remodeling projects that accommodate motor disabilities may cost anywhere from $20 to $60,000, depending on the size and scope of the installation. Keep in mind that small adjustments like DIY door knob grippers are at the low end of the range. Major remodeling with a professional contractor is on the high end.
|Motor Disability Remodel Project
|Average Cost (Installed)
|Lower Light Switches
|$20 - $100
|$85 - $300
|Shower / Tub Modifications
|$100 - $800
|Raised Toilet Seat
|$100 - $1,600
|$300 - $2,500
|Wheelchair Accessible Sink
|$450 - $800
|Low Profile / Electric Beds
|$500 - $7,000
|Accessible Countertop Height
|$600 - $2,000
|$750 - $22,000
|$1,700 - $5,000
|$3,000 - $5,000
|Wheelchair Accessible Kitchen Cabinets
|$4,000 - $9,000
|Anti Skid Bathroom Tiles
|$4,500 - $8,000
|$4,500 - $8,000
|$30,000 - $40,000
|$35,000 - $60,000
Lower Light Switches
The cost to install lower light switches is $20 to $100. Individuals with mobility disabilities may struggle to reach standard light switches, so lowering the height by several inches to accommodate wheelchair users is a smart plan. ADA guidelines state that when a wheelchair user must use a front approach, the light switch should be located no more than 48 inches from the floor. If a wheelchair user can reach the light switch from the side, it could be 54 inches maximum above the floor. Light switches over a counter should be no higher than 40 inches.
Shower or Tub Modifications
Expect to pay $100 to $1,000 to modify a shower for those with motor disabilities. A fully modified shower may include a shower wheelchair ramp for rolling into a shower with a slight incline, bath steps for the disabled to climb up and down into the tub, and a lower shower faucet and controls for better access. Shower ramps and bath steps may be portable and DIY or permanently installed or custom built, which increases the price. These modifications make it easier for those with disabilities to use while preventing serious slip and fall injuries. One DIY modification you can add to your shower is transfer benches, which individuals can hold onto and sit on while exiting and entering. This modification requires no installation, so it is a good budget-friendly option. Many emergency room visits are linked to shower or bathtub injuries, so modifications can make bathrooms significantly safer and more comfortable.
|Type of Modification
|$100 - $1,000
|$100 - $1,000
|Lower Shower Faucet and Controls
|$200 - $800
Install Grab Bars
The average cost to install grab bars in a mobility modified bathroom is $85 to $300. Grab bars are a worthwhile addition to a bath or shower because they offer extra grip when transitioning in or out of the bathroom space. Grab bars can be used when lowering a person onto a shower bench or toilet seat, transferring from a walker or wheelchair to the bath, or supporting someone with limited mobility in the shower. Stainless steel L-shaped grab bars are the most common, but many other styles, including angled, wall to floor, and corner grab bars, are available.
A Raised Toilet Seat
A raised toilet seat costs $100 to $1,600. Toilet risers with handles are an important addition to make bathrooms more accessible for those with mobility issues allowing them to access the toilet without significant movement. A raised toilet seat can be installed on an existing fixture, so those with limited mobility don’t need to sit down so far to reach the toilet seat. Grip bars attached to the toilet enhance the safety features for improved accessibility.
Widen a Doorway
Another common project for disability remodels is widening doorways, costing $300 to $2,500. Both interior and exterior doors can be widened so that wheelchairs can fit through easily, although exterior doors may be slightly more expensive if front doorways are larger than internal ones. The cost to widen a doorway with a load bearing wall will likely be much higher. That’s because load bearing walls are key structural components that hold the weight of the roof or upper levels. It won’t be as simple to widen these doors because the contractor will need to make sure any changes do not compromise the structural integrity. However, with the right temporary support and replacement header to support the load, it’s definitely possible.
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom Sink
The average wall mounted wash basin price is $450 to $800. Wheelchair accessible bathroom vanities are attached to the wall and suspended at a universal height to allow wheelchair users to roll up directly to the sink. These special vanities offer ample space and access for those with mobility limitations. You can get a wide range of styles and colors that suit the bathroom design while making the space safer and more accommodating.
Low Profile and Electric Beds
Low profile and electric beds range from $500 to $7,000. A low profile bed is shorter than a standard bed frame, so it’s easier to get in and out. An electric bed can be adjusted to different heights and angles to achieve the same effect. The idea is to make the bedroom safer for individuals with mobility challenges. A safety mat at the side of a low profile or electric bed can add an extra layer of protection against slips and falls. Sometimes a ceiling lift is used to help people in and out of their low profile or electric bed.
The cost of installing accessible countertops averages $600 to $2,000. Often, these countertops may be mounted to the wall with free space underneath to allow for easy wheelchair access. As with cabinet modifications, you may be able to use your existing countertops. However, your contractor may recommend an entirely new installation based on your current kitchen design and mobility requirements. Keep in mind the guidelines for ADA countertop heights are 28” to 36” inches tall from floor to the countertop. It must also be a minimum of 30” inches long for a forward, straight on approach or 36” inches long for a parallel (side) approach.
Expect to pay $750 to $22,000 to cover the disabled curbless showers cost. This average wheelchair accessible shower price is usually worthwhile because accessible showers make a big difference to those with limited mobility and wheelchair requirements. A disabled walk-in shower features flat, non-slip surfaces to eliminate the need for steps and lifting, and there are no curbs to navigate with the chair. If you prefer a tub instead, you can go for walk-in tubs with doors that open outward to allow the disabled person to enter the tub safely. Then there are disabled wet rooms where the shower is not enclosed with a door or curtain because the entire room can get wet with a slight slope down to the floor drain. Wet rooms can also be modified with grab bars and anti-skid tiles.
|$750 - $3,000
|$5,000 - $8,500
|$14,000 - $22,000
Wheelchair Ramp Installation
The average cost of installing wheelchair ramps is $1,700 to $5,000. These ramps are designed for ease of access throughout the house and can be placed anywhere from kitchens to bathrooms, living rooms to front steps, or out to the porch. Portable and permanent options are available, so it comes down to whether a modular ramp that can be taken down and transported or a permanent one built into the home is better for you. Shorter, less expensive threshold and portable ramps can be picked up and placed across doorways. Semi-permanent ramps that are easier to install and move than custom ramps built into the house structure. Aluminum, steel, concrete, wood, and rubber are the top materials for wheelchair ramps.
Installing a chairlift costs $3,000 to $5,000. Chair lifts are trusted mobility aids for stairs that are welcome additions to homes where residents have mobility challenges. Stairlifts are the best way to keep residents safe and comfortable in their homes with stairs, as they can transport anyone who needs a wheelchair, walker, or other mobility support. Someone with limited mobility can make it up the stairs to the next level within a minute, taking the stress and worry off their careers. Other helpful product features include electric and battery-powered chairlifts and collapsible, swivel, perch, and angled seats.
Wheelchair Accessible Kitchen Cabinets
Accessible kitchen cabinets cost $4,000 to $9,000. These cabinets are installed at lower heights so wheelchair users can easily access kitchen utensils. You can either permanently install cabinets at a lower height or install cabinet lifting systems that adjust to the user’s height with advanced hardware such as levers or buttons. A professional cabinet installer can evaluate your existing cabinets and let you know if there will be any problems lowering them or if entirely new cabinets are a better investment.
|Lower Height Cabinets
|$4,000 - $9,000
|Cabinet Lifting System
|$5,000 - $9,000
Anti Skid Bathroom Tiles
Plan on paying around $4,500 to $8,000 for anti skid tiles in the bathroom. These tiles have a special coating that enhances grip for wet surfaces, preventing slipping and falling. They look similar to traditional tiles and come in different colors, so you can maintain a similar aesthetic appeal in the bathroom while also increasing safety measures. Anti skid bathroom tiles are similar to non-slip mats but offer more permanent protection. They are easy to maintain with little cleaning required, just the occasional scrub with a tile cleaning agent.
Ceiling Lift Installation
Most homeowners pay $4,500 to $8,000 to install a ceiling lift. While chairlifts run along the stair’s rails, ceiling lifts are attached to an overhead track or railing to lift and transfer someone via a sling seat. For someone with limited mobility, a ceiling lift provides the stability and support necessary for many daily tasks, such as moving around the house or taking a bath. You can opt for a temporary or freestanding ceiling lift or a permanent track system that’s mounted on the ceiling. One important aspect of this project is understanding how much weight/force the lift needs to support and how to apply these specifications to the existing ceiling and wall support systems.
The average cost of widening a hallway with structural changes is $30,000 to $40,000. This is a significant project that requires professional contractors and thorough planning. It’s best only to widen hallways with structural changes if you plan on staying in the house for a long time and the hallways are noticeably tight for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility. The benefit of this project is that once the hallways are widened, it will be much more comfortable and safer for all residents and visitors to move around the home. Just keep in mind that the contractor will need to add additional space to the hallway width, which could alter the size of some rooms.
Home Elevator Installation
The most expensive of the motor disability remodel project is elevator installation, costing $35,000 to $60,000. Whether it’s a hydraulic or pneumatic elevator, you can expect this state-of-the-art safety solution to deliver comfort and convenience for the whole family. An elevator takes residents from one floor to the next at the push of a button. If a resident requires a wheelchair, a wide elevator accommodates the chair and a caregiver, giving them a break from heavy lifting. Home elevators are often seen as luxurious and may help increase buyer interest.
Cost to Remodel for an Intellectual Disability
Intellectual disabilities involve challenges with thinking, comprehension, brain development, and overall central nervous system functions. Individuals with an intellectual disability may have difficulties with social and practical skills, although behavioral therapy and special education can help them live a full life. Examples of intellectual disabilities include Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, congenital disabilities, and genetic conditions. Many intellectual disabilities occur before the baby is born or during/soon after the birth. Traumatic brain injuries and infections may also lead to intellectual disabilities. While intellectual disabilities undoubtedly present their challenges, there are ways to make individuals and their families more comfortable and help them succeed in their daily lives. Stove safety knobs and door lever locks are easy to install DIY, offering an extra level of security to stop people with intellectual disabilities from getting into kitchen appliances or certain rooms. Stove safety knobs are valued for protecting against burns. Door lever locks keep people from getting locked in the bedroom or bathroom. These budget-friendly DIY projects cost around $8 to $40 and can keep your loved ones safe. There are other changes homeowners can make to help with intellectual disability remodel projects ranging from $25 to $10,000.
|Intellectual Disability Remodel Project
|Average Cost (Installed)
|Safety Gate For Stairs
|$25 - $130
|Cabinet Safety Straps
|$25 - $150
|$80 - $300
|Pool Safety Fence
|$3,000 - $10,000
Safety Gate for Stairs
Most homeowners pay between $25 and $130 for adult-sized stair safety gates. These gates come with locking mechanisms to keep them securely closed. Safety gates prevent individuals with intellectual disabilities from falling down the stairs or accessing rooms that they should not use, such as bedrooms, home offices, or basements. You can install these gates anywhere there are stairs, whether they go up to the second-story or down to the basement. If you have external stairs such as deck stairs, a safety gate for outside is also a good idea. These gates may be drilled into the surrounding wall/door frame to ensure a permanent safety solution.
Cabinet Safety Straps
Cabinet safety straps are $25 to $150. These straps keep cabinets closed so individuals with intellectual disabilities cannot open them and injure themselves. They are mostly found in kitchens and laundry rooms where people keep cutlery and potentially dangerous substances like bleach and other cleaning chemicals. Drawer safety straps are a similar solution, with a locking mechanism that keeps them closed unless you know how to open them. Both children and adults with intellectual disabilities may not understand the dangers of opening and closing cabinets and drawers, so these straps can help avoid pinched fingers and other painful injuries.
Expect to pay $80 to $300 for anti-scald valves. These temperature controls can be installed for sinks, tubs, and showers to prevent someone from turning the water on too hot and burning themselves. This is especially important because many individuals with intellectual disabilities cannot communicate that the water feels too hot. They could burn themselves before anyone notices. It only takes a few seconds of exposure to scalding hot water for a burn to form, so anti-scald valves are a worthwhile addition to many disability bathroom remodeling projects.
Pool Safety Fence
Out of all the remodeling projects for intellectual disabilities, a pool safety fence is the most expensive, costing $3,000 to $10,000. Sometimes it may be necessary to create physical boundaries for people with intellectual disabilities that have good mobility. A pool safety fence is one of the most important projects considering the drowning dangers of swimming pools. Someone with an intellectual disability may not understand the risks of going into the pool unattended, so a safety fence is the best option. Mesh, chain link, and vinyl are more affordable options, while metal, plexiglass, wood, and glass are more expensive.
Accessible Home Remodeling for Visually Impaired and Low Vision
Accessible home remodeling for the visually impaired and low vision costs $70 to $10,000. Remodeling for those with visual impairments involves making it easier for them to navigate the house safely, even with limited or no sight. While vision impairment often occurs as people age, with 12 million Americans 40 years or over experiencing impaired vision, it can happen at any age. Some people are born blind, and others develop visual impairments as the result of traumatic accidents or illnesses. Just over one million people in the U.S. are blind.
|Visually Impaired Remodel Project
|Average Cost (Installed)
|$70 - $150
|Automatic Toilet Flusher
|$250 - $500
|$350 - $500
|$350 - $1,200
|$700 - $1,700
|Home Security System
|$750 - $2,000
|Home Automation System
|$2,000 - $7,000
|$7,500 - $10,000
Smoke Detector Installation
Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors costs $70 to $150. This is incredibly important because smoke or unsafe gas levels can cause serious health issues and even death. These detectors make visually impaired people aware of a problem so emergency services can be called as soon as possible. Smoke can sneak up on anyone but especially those with visual impairments who cannot see smoke or fire. Smoke detectors let residents know they are at risk and need to get urgent help and evacuate.
Automatic Toilet Flusher
The cost of an automatic toilet flusher is $250 to $500. Many households appreciate the comfort and convenience of this automated bathroom solution. It’s especially beneficial for those with visual impairments that otherwise would have to feel around by hand to flush the toilet. Automatic flushing is more hygienic and efficient too. These auto flushing functions last longer than traditional fixtures because they aren’t touched constantly like with a normal handle.
Lighting for Visually Impaired
Expect to pay around $350 to $500 to upgrade lighting for visually impaired individuals. Lighting for low vision is installed below eye level to eliminate visible glare. Floor and desk lamps should be put as close to the seating area or tabletop as possible to minimize shadows. A pair of lamps, one on each side, control shadows and make it easier for those with visual impairments to get around and complete their daily activities. Hands-free, wearable lighting sources help when it’s dark or the power is out. Indoor and outdoor motion sensor lighting also makes a big difference. Motion sensor lights turn on and off based on movement in the room, so hallways and living spaces can be illuminated as soon as someone enters.
You should budget $350 to $1,200 to install handrails for the visually impaired in a regular 10 feet long staircase. All stairs inside and outside your home could benefit from handrails that dramatically lower the risk of an injury falling on the stairs, which happens to upwards of one million Americans every year. These injuries are more common for those who are visually impaired. Handrails may also be used in the bathroom to provide adequate support during personal hygiene. You could install wall-mounted or integrated handrails, although integrated handrails are more expensive.
Level a Yard
The average cost to level a yard is $700 to $1,700. The main reason to level a yard is to provide people with visual impairments more stability and support throughout the property. Everyone deserves a safe space to spend time outside. A level yard is easier to navigate than one with uneven ground, bumps, and hills and is more suitable for wheelchair ramps, landscaping, and building projects. It is safer for the visually impaired and their loved ones to move around in a leveled yard without as many hazards.
Home Security System Installation
The average cost of a home security system is $750 to $2,000. These systems may include surveillance cameras, control units, motion sensor lights, and automated features. Security systems are linked to monitoring contracts. You can choose the level of security, including the number of cameras and the remote monitoring options. For someone with visual impairments, a home security system offers peace of mind that the property is protected and alerts loved ones if there are any issues.
Home Automation System
Home automation systems cost $2,000 to $7,000. Home automation is especially important for the visually impaired because most systems can be controlled only using the voice rather than a touchscreen. Families can appreciate automated lights, locks, thermostats, speakers, and plugs with a full control hub. Every room in the house can be automated, from heating and air conditioning to kitchen appliances and furniture. It’s good to evaluate the resident’s needs and what they use the most so that those items can be prioritized for home automation.
Paint House for Visually Impaired
Painting a house for the visually impaired costs $7,500 to $10,000. A fresh coat of paint can make a big difference to someone who has low vision, as soft paint colors and natural hues are easier to see. Smart paint color choices help with processing visual information. The same goes for design colors that are noticeably different from skin tones, such as blue, green, or red. When considering a painting project, keep in mind the best color combinations for the visually impaired are high contrast, such as yellow and blue, or green and black.
Home Remodels for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Home remodels for the hard of hearing range in price from $50 to $2,500. Approximately 37.5 million Americans have trouble hearing, and close to a million are functionally deaf. Several things can be done to improve home accessibility for the deaf or hard of hearing. They may use sign language or read lips, so most of them need to see the people in the conversation. Wider hallways, so people can walk side by side and communicate, are key elements of these remodels. Incorporating soundproofing and other features make the home more accessible.
|Deaf or Hard of Hearing Remodel Project
|Average Cost (Installed)
|Hard of Hearing Doorbell
|$50 - $500
|Noise Reduction Windows
|$500 - $1,200
|$955 - $1,510
|$1,000 - $2,500
Hard of Hearing Doorbell
Hard of hearing doorbells range in price from $50 to $500. These doorbells are designed specifically for individuals with hearing impairments, with two main types: extra loud for individuals who are hard of hearing and flashing for those who are deaf. An extra loud doorbell for the hard of hearing has a special chime that reaches a higher decibel, so it’s easier to hear without damaging the eardrums. A flashing doorbell for the hard of hearing lets residents who can’t hear know someone is at the door through a bright flashing light.
|Type of Doorbell
|$50 - $450
|$100 - $500
Noise Reduction Windows
The average cost of installing noise reduction windows is $500 to $1,200. Although innovative cochlear implants enable speech recognition for many deaf people, they need quiet conditions. Otherwise, the speech recognition and listening ability decrease significantly with more background noise. Soundproof windows have thicker glass and double panes, making them beneficial for those with hearing difficulties because they block outside noise that distracts from hearing technology. The less background noise there is, the better for someone who is hard of hearing.. Another benefit to soundproof windows includes the additional thickness that provides better insulation to prevent heat loss. If installing new windows is out of budget for you right now, you can reduce window noise by filling holes in window frames ($50 to $300) or hanging sound dampening curtains ($100 to $400).
Lower the Ceiling
The cost to lower the ceiling in a room is $955 to $1,510. For those who are hard of hearing or deaf, a lower ceiling supports soundproofing and minimizes noise reverberation that’s so common with tall ceilings. To lower the ceiling, contractors add a secondary or drop ceiling below the original height. Metal tracks and wires are suspended from the ceiling to create a grid framework for new ceiling panels or tiles. You can lower the ceiling by several feet using this method, improving the soundproofing and comfort for individuals with hearing challenges.
Room Echo Reduction
The average cost of room echo reduction is $1,000 to $2,500. This project includes enhancing floors, ceilings, and walls to dampen echo and reduce interior noise that makes it harder to hear and communicate for those with hearing difficulties. Carpeting is a great way to dampen echo, as well as acoustic foam and paneling for the walls and ceiling. Vibrations from laundry machines and other appliances may disrupt the hard of hearing, so focusing on echo reduction in those rooms is a good place to start.
Cost to Remodel to Adapt for a Disability by Location
Disability remodeling varies from room to room and according to the type of disability. The most common rooms to remodel are the ones where residents spend the most time, including the bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen. Outdoor space and stairs are also priority areas for disability remodeling. Throughout these different areas, ramps, handrails, lighting, accessible countertops and cabinets, and electric lifting systems can make a difference to those with disabilities. The prices vary greatly depending on the number of modifications needed in each room; however, every situation is unique. Some home designs may already be better suited to individuals with disabilities than others. The prices below are average prices for a full remodel of each location.
|Cost (Labor Included)
|$1,500 - $6,000
|$2,000 - $10,500
|$4,500 - $9,000
|$5,000 - $10,000
|$7,000 - $15,000
ADA Compliant Homes
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 marked a monumental shift in civil rights law, prohibiting discrimination due to disability. There are ADA guidelines for public property such as schools, shopping centers, hotels, and office buildings to ensure safety for all visitors. ADA building codes do not cover private single-family residences other than those converted into group homes or residential living facilities. However, most home builders and homeowners aim to follow ADA recommendations as closely as possible. By choosing ADA compliant designs, you ensure the safest experience for individuals with disabilities. If you have received funding for disability remodeling, you will likely need to adhere to ADA guidelines anyway. The same goes for many insurance policies and product warranties.
Decoration for Accessible Homes
Once you have the main components of an accessible home, it’s good to think about decoration, too. Some simple changes make a home comfortable and safer for individuals with disabilities, including making hallways wider without structural changes. You can do this by removing photos, artwork, and shelving from hallways. Anything that a wheelchair or walker could get stuck on should be removed, following the “less is more” design concept.
Other decoration ideas include opting for hard floors or short carpets that are easier to move around than thick rugs or plush carpets. This is especially important for individuals with wheelchairs who need to roll around without getting stuck on rugs. You can place mirrors at the end of each hallway and corner to help residents see where they are going and avoid collisions with other people. Don’t forget about the furniture. Consider furniture with lower heights that are easier to reach. Choose tables, chairs, and couches to accommodate wheelchairs. Furniture should provide ample back and neck support.
Creating an Adaptable Environment
When remodeling for a disability, it’s important to consider how to create an adaptable environment. Many of these projects require a sizable budget. You want to make sure you get the most for your money. Think about whether your loved one’s physical and intellectual abilities will improve or diminish over time. An adaptable home environment should accommodate for possible improvements in physical mobility following rehabilitation and therapy, and at the same time, accommodate the chance of lower mobility in the future. To create the most adaptable environment, choose designs and features that you can get good use of no matter what the future holds. One great example is a stylish walk-in tub that can be used and appreciated even if mobility improves.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Build Swimming Pool for Aquatic Therapy
Building an in-ground swimming pool costs $20,000 to $110,000. While this is a big project, it’s often worthwhile for individuals with a disability who could benefit from aquatic therapy. Swimming can be a great source of exercise and entertainment for people with intellectual or motor disabilities. Individuals who experience loss of vision or hearing can also make good use of a swimming pool. Water aerobics and aquatic therapy alleviate joint and muscle pain and encourage flexibility and physical movement.
Building a home gym costs $3,500 to $25,000. This can be very beneficial for someone with a disability. Exercise helps physically, mentally, and emotionally. For those with motor disabilities, rehabilitation exercises may be practiced at home. Of course, it is important to follow professional treatment and guidance to protect against further injury. Some possible additions to an accessible home gym include medicine balls, exercise bikes, treadmills, and yoga blocks/mats, as long as they are within the individual’s physical abilities and medical recommendations.
Emergency Call Button
Many different emergency call buttons are available, ranging in price from $50 to $500. These buttons can be placed in an easy-to-reach spot, such as near the bedside or bathtub. Individuals can keep wearable emergency call buttons around their necks if they need urgent help. If it’s a large house, there should be multiple call buttons throughout the living space to ensure they can be reached whenever necessary.
An in-home intercom helps individuals with disabilities communicate with others in the house. Prices range from $100 to $800, depending on the tech. The good thing about an in-home intercom is that it allows families and caregivers to check on their loved ones without infringing on their privacy. A quick intercom call to check-in allows for more independence and privacy while still prioritizing safety.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Permits and licenses. Minor modifications such as handrails or doorbells do not generally need permission. However, larger disability remodels such as wheelchair ramps or structural changes may require local licenses, permits, and city/county codes. Your contractor can help you understand these requirements and provide recommendations based on ADA guidelines.
- DIY. Small modifications to make a house more accessible may be suitable for DIY, such as laying down a new rug for echo reduction or putting door knob grippers on the doors. Otherwise, larger disability remodels should always be left to the professionals to ensure the projects meet all requirements and are of long-lasting quality.
- Tiny house. Tiny houses are miniature homes under 600 square feet. They may seem like an attractive option to have detached from the primary home, but they are prefabricated and lack the space for functional accessibility. The one-size-fits-all design of most tiny houses probably won’t work for people with disabilities.
- Home value. Smart disability remodeling improves home value, especially if it’s versatile to make all residents more comfortable. For example, walk-in tubs and soundproofing are a few attractive features many homebuyers look for in potential properties.
- Accessibility Modifications Program (AMP). One financing option for disability remodeling is the Accessibility Modifications Program (AMP), which is available to help qualified homeowners cover the cost of accessibility modifications. AMP financing is open to households with incomes at or below 80% of the median income in the area. It ranges from $1,000 to $10,000. Another option is the Assisted Living Conversion Program (ALCP) through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
- Garden for the blind. Sensory gardens for the blind encourage other senses through beautifully scented flowers and textured plants. Edible flowers and the sound of animals, insects, and footsteps creates a safe, sensory-rich outdoor environment. Handrails and a flat level surface ensure these gardens are safe and easy to navigate.
- Smart speakers. While smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Home are not technically equipped to call for emergency services, the “Ask My Buddy” app works on both. A user can tell the speaker to contact their “buddy,” who is a family member or guardian that gets a text, call, and/or email alerting them of a problem so that help is always within reach.
- Hot zone map. It’s a good idea to make a custom map of your home, color-coded to show safe areas and risky rooms. Safe rooms should be one color, where the individual with a disability is independent, and hot zones are another, where they need assistance. Like a fire safety escape plan, this hot zone map should identify safe entry and exit points.
- Medicare. Medicare doesn’t usually pay for wheelchair ramps and disability modifications, but Medicaid may offer waivers in your state. Each state administers Medicaid based on federal requirements and joint funding, so it’s important to check your state’s programs to understand what modifications are covered. Generally, this funding applies to disabled or elderly home upgrades that allow them to stay in their current residence.
- How will new technology improve accessibility for people with disabilities?
New technology improves accessibility for people with disabilities by making their living spaces more comfortable. Home security and automation systems help people safely navigate their homes. Advancements in lighting and sound protection are also making homes more accommodating.
- How much does it cost to build a handicap accessible house?
Building an accessible house costs $5,000 to $20,000 but may go as high as $50,000 depending on the number of modifications. Installing custom wheelchair ramps and making structural modifications costs more than small adaptations like handrails and new doorbells.
- How wide should a door be for a wheelchair?
Doorways need a width of at least 32 inches to accommodate wheelchairs, as outlined by the ADA accessibility standards.
- How do you remodel a handicap bathroom?
To remodel a bathroom and make it more accessible, you can install a walk-in/roll-in shower without curbs or steps. Anti-slip flooring, handrails, a raised toilet seat, automatic flushing, and wall-mounted sink also help.
- How do I make my home handicap accessible?
To make your home more accessible, consider installing wheelchair ramps and a walk-in bathtub. Countertops, cabinets, and sinks that accommodate wheelchairs also make a noticeable difference.