Disability Remodeling Cost

The average cost of a disability remodel is $9,000.

In this guide

Remodel by room
Labor
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost disability remodeling?

Adapting a house to accommodate a disability can require a lot of work or repair. Each adaptation is likely to be unique, depending largely upon the current structure of the home, as well as the disability of the individual who will be using it. For example, someone living in a two-story home, who has difficulty walking will need accommodations such as a lift, while someone who has no mobility issues, but has difficulty hearing may require special electrical work to adapt things like doorbells and phones to a light system. Therefore, there can be a wide range of disability remodels, including what they entail, and what they cost.

In addition to remodeling to accommodate a specific disability, many people may also remodel to assist with "aging in place "or remaining in your home as you age and have more difficulty completing tasks or getting around. According to the Social Security department, 1 in 5 people in the United States lives with a disability, and many of these disabilities will require some form of accommodation in the home.

According to the ADA guidelines the bathroom is the most commonly remodeled room to accomodate a disability and has an average cost of $9,000

Types of remodeling

Not every disability is going to require the same type of adaptations. However, there are several different remodels, that are recommended by the ADA to make the rooms in your home accessible for everyone who may use them, including those with disabilities. These adaptations typically include renovations designed for wheelchair users; however there are many other types of disability remodeling, including many adaptations meant to help homeowners "age in place", or avoid needing to leave their homes as they age and develop typical age-related mobility issues.​

This list includes some of the most common types of disability remodeling in the home:

RemodelReasonCost
Installing kitchen counters at varying heightsEasier access for those with mobility issues or wheelchair users$500-$1,500
Lowering kitchen cabinets and appliancesMake them easier to reach$15,000
Installing a curb-free walk-in or roll-in shower stall in the bathroomNo barrier to entry$5,000-$6,000
Installing grab bars near tubs, toilets, and showersHelp prevent falls and make transfers easier

$140 for three bars

Installing a wall hung sink or counterMakes the area wheelchair accessible$1,000-$1,500
Changing faucets to those with lever handles and showerheads for hand showersEasier use for those with arthritis and mobility problems$400
Installing a permanent interior or exterior rampMakes the house accessible$400-$4,000
Purchasing a portable interior or exterior rampMakes the house accessible$100-$400
Installing a chairlift to the upper story of a homeMakes upper floors accessible$3,000-$4,000
Widening doorways and hallwayMakes access easier for wheelchairs and walkers$700 each
Installing handrails 1 on either side of stairways or stepsIncreases mobility and prevents falls$100 per linear foot 1 of railing 1
Leveling 2 the yard or walkwayGives greater access to those with mobility issues$500-$1,000
Anti-slip, ADA approved American Olean flooring in the bathroomPrevents slips and falls$1,300

Remodel by room

The list of modifications that can be made to a home are nearly endless. That said, there are several common areas that are renovated to assist people with disabilities or with aging in place.

Kitchen

In the kitchen area, the most common modifications include lowering cabinetry and appliances to make them easier to access without stretching or standing. In addition, countertops may be raised so that someone does not need to bend to use them, or lowered to accommodate someone in a wheelchair. Kitchen faucets may also be changed to be sensor 3 activated or to have a toe-touch activation where hands are not required. In most cases, this will require a complete or partial kitchen renovation to undertake. To make the most of the room, a kitchen designer or design firm would be required to draw up the plans for the space and a general contractor needed to do the work. Typical costs for modifying a kitchen will range from $15,000 to $20,000.

Bathroom

The bathroom is the most commonly remodeled room in the home to accommodate disabilities. This includes installing grab bars in areas where slips and falls are common, removing the curb from the shower to allow for barrier free entry and remodeling the shower to include a bench and handshower for easy access, and replacing a pedestal or vanity sink with a wall-hung model that a wheelchair can roll beneath. Other accommodations may include non-slip flooring, lever handles on faucets, and a higher toilet. To make these changes, a complete bathroom renovation is usually required. This may need the services of a bathroom design firm, as well as a plumber to do the work. The typical cost of modifying a bathroom is around $9,000.

Stairs

Stairs can be a big problem for those with mobility issues. Therefore, stairways and steps both in and out of the home must be modified. For outdoor areas, this usually includes building a ramp out of lumber to replace the steps leading 2 in, at a cost of around $2,000 on average. Small ramps may also be used indoors for small steps up and down into single rooms and to level 3 out thresholds, and may cost around $400 a piece. To access upper stories of a home, the most common modification is to install a chairlift that will allow a user to ride safely to the top, costing around $3,000 to $4,000. Additional railings 1 may also help make stairwells safer, particularly if only one railing 1 currently exists, with railings 1 costing about $100 a linear foot 1 to install, for 10 linear feet, expect a cost of $1,000. A carpenter may be the most suitable person to make many of these changes, but an electrician or a chairlift specialty company may be required to install a lift.

Labor

Depending on the type of remodeling that your home needs to make it accessible, you may need the services of a carpenter at $70 an hour, a plumber at $45 to $65 an hour or an electrician at $65 to $85 an hour.

For example, it will take a carpenter approximately 8 hours to build a permanent ramp to your home if you have a steep staircase, for a total of $560 in labor. A plumber to swap out your faucet handles for more accessible versions will cost around $50.

You should count on any conversion taking anywhere from 1 to 16 hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the job involved.


Enhancement and improvement costs

  • In addition to these improvements, you may also want to consider having an intercom 4 added to your home to allow greater communication without the need for movement. Intercoms 4 cost between $108 and $223 installed.
  • Smart or motion sensing lights can also help improve the accessibility of a room. These cost around $20 a piece for LED bulbs, which include a sensor 3 and retrofit into your existing light fixtures.
  • Walk-in or roll-in closets can also help improve access within the home. A new closet typically costs around $75-$600.

Additional considerations and costs

  • There are many DIY accommodations you can make to your home to make it more accessible and accommodating. These things include: removing throw rugs and other obstacles, covering thresholds with rubber mats to make them easier to navigate, removing cords and cables from paths being traveled, removing doors from hinges 5, and putting down anti-slip mats in bathrooms and other wet areas.
  • Depending on the amount of work you are having done, you may need to have a permit pulled and make sure that your home meets certain ADA regulations. There may be funding available from your town or city to help make these changes and allow you to remain in your own home; you can visit the US Department of Labor for more information.
  • Other accommodations you may need to make include ensuring all counters and furnishings have rounded edges to prevent injuries, as well as making sure that wall switches, outlets, and other items are installed at around 30-inches in height to make them accessible.
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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Railing: (Also known as Handrails) A long bar designed for a person to hold onto, giving them support. They are usually found on the sides of staircases, and can also be found in bathrooms, for example, to help persons with disabilities
2 Leveling: The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.
3 Sensor: Device that responds to a physical event or change in the environment by emitting an output signal
4 Intercom: A communication system allowing a person to speak into a microphone and be heard through a speaker in another location
5 Hinges: A type of joint that attaches two items together but allows one of them to swing back and forth, such as a door attached to a door frame

Cost to remodel to adapt for a disability varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Boston, MA
+40%
Lancaster, CA
+4%
Las Vegas, NM
-43%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Mobile, AL
-8%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
San Diego, CA
+11%
Severn, MD
+5%
Tewksbury, MA
+36%
Wilmington, DE
+9%

Labor cost in your zipcode

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Methodology and sources