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Creating a Home That’s Disabled-Accessible

A complete front-to-back guide to making it work for you.
September 12th, 2022

By April Meyers

September 8, 2022

Whether you or someone living with you has limited mobility or a visual impairment, you can design a home that’s accessible for people of varying mobility levels.  It involves working closely with the contractors, and it helps to know where you can find funding for the project. 

Know the steps 

If you’ve only rented or have never had a custom-built home, you need to understand the steps involved in building a custom home.  First, you need to determine a budget and secure a loan. When you budget, include the estimated cost of design fees, home construction, and interior decorating as well as local taxes and other fees. 

Then, you need to find the right home design.  With a custom-built home, you want to make sure the home is accessible for every family member.  That may mean having a stairlift installed or building a one-story home. Doorways may need to be slightly larger to easily accommodate a wheelchair.  

Next, find the right land.  A flat area is ideal. If you and your family members can’t take care of the yard on your own, you may want a small yard.  Besides the yard itself, take into consideration the property’s proximity to parks and other handicapped-accessible areas. 

Finding a contractor

When you’re working on designing and building the perfect home, you must find a contractor who can handle the project.  For example, if you’re planning to make changes or additions to your bathroom, finding local a plumbing service to handle this job is important.  Perform an internet search to look for one who serves your area.  Once you find some prospective candidates, check their reviews, and eliminate those that don’t measure up.

Compare the contractors you’ve selected and choose a few who stand out to you.  Contact them, explain your vision, and ask for quotes and referrals.  It may be helpful to inquire if the contractors have any experience building accessible homes.

Deciding on key features

Most importantly, decide on the features necessary to make the home accessible. For instance, consider having handrails installed in the shower or near the toilet.  In addition, think about automatic doors. You may want to have ramps installed to make it easier to enter and exit the home.  If you’re visually impaired, illuminate walkways with bright, high-contrast colored tape to outline the edges of hallways, doorways, ramps, and stair landings.

Securing financing

Paying for the accommodations you need isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s also not as tough as you think. While you may qualify for standard home loans,  Self.inc suggests checking into home loans, especially for the disabled.  For instance, if you’re a disabled veteran, you may be eligible to receive a low-interest loan with no money down.  You should also familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of a mortgage.  Additionally, you may be able to find grants, which consist of free money you can use toward building your home.

Be realistic about the timeline 

If you need to move soon, choosing to custom-build a home may be quite an undertaking.  Realistically, it takes time to have all the paperwork processed, discuss the design, and have the home built.  Typically, you can expect the process to take a bare minimum of a few months, but NewHomeSource.com says it can take one to two years in some cases. 

When you know the process, you can have your dream home designed with little hassle on your part.  Follow the above steps, such as looking for great contractors and finding ways to secure financing, and you’ll be ready to start the designing process in no time!

(April Meyers of Wheaton, IL is a huge advocate of embracing the mind-body connection. She created Mind Body Health Solution to support people far and wide in their wellness journey.)


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