It is not uncommon for us to get calls from a homeowners whose safety renovations were completed by another party, stating the renovations “don’t work”. Just driving around town, I regularly see wheelchair ramps that are not code compliant if not outright dangerous. Many home owners contemplating accessibility renovations begin with the premise that any contractor can do the job. This is simply not true. In many cases, the resulting home safety renovations are done in a way that unfortunately offers little to no accessibility for the person that lives in the home or are unsafe.
Any reputable accessibility contractor will spend time with you in your home watching how you get about and identifying your trouble spots. We do this for every client! If you are unsteady on your feet or use a wheelchair, the bathroom may be your most challenging room. If stairs are your problem, an outside ramp or a lift system may be the solution that you need. Your personal needs should dictate the direction of the project.
As you move to signing a contract, make sure that the scope of work is clearly defined. Require the contractor to have a floor plan so you can clearly visualize what is being proposed. In more comprehensive projects, the contract should lay out a job schedule that you understand with a contractor payment schedule tied to specific milestones. Finally, make sure that your contractor is licensed and insured, that they obtain building permits and have references for previous accessibility work. Finding a reputable accessibility contractor is critical and following these steps will ensure that you can stay safely in your home for as long as you choose.
Home Safety Month is a community campaign for seniors and homeowners with limited mobility brought to you by Creative Housing/Creative Renovations. To learn more about our home safety construction services call 1.614.418.7725 or visit our Home Safety Month webpage at www.accessibilityrenovations.org.