Most builders are aware that there are special attributes that must be taken into consideration for the disabled and wheelchair bound individuals when it comes to passing building bylaws. There are some basic items that always need to be taken into consideration when it comes to this aspect of both design, build and implementation of these things.
In this simple yet concise document we will look at some of those things in a way where designing and constructing these options works for the best result. The main goal (obviously) is to allow the layman the overall picture of what a disabled person would need from a bottom up standpoint. The first place to start will have to be wheelchair access so let’s look at that.
Lifts and Implementation
Where you are considering a new construction or the revamping of an older multi story/level building the lift is one of the first things to have addressed from the off if it is a building where there are/is more than one floor. Where we are dealing with a ground floor apartment then the situation is much simpler.
“More property builders are taking into consideration the accessibility of the buildings and properties they are constructing to cater for people with these needs. This of course opens up the market of people that they can sell to. And in a 2019 society this is very much something that should be given consideration every time. This is being especially being put to the test.” - Hank Zarihs Fast Bridging loan & Property Experts.
When you have a ground floor “flat” situation the accessibility is not that difficult to deal with as you just need to plan putting in a ramped entrance way. In most cases here there would be the simple situation of (removing steps and adding a concrete ramp into position.)
There are several things to look for in doing this such as the area you have to add the ramp after all if the home is located in a street setting you could not make the ramp go out into the pavement and off the premises so planning out is the key here but on the other hand if there is sufficient space then there will not be “issues” in designing your “ramp” to fit your space.
The more space you have the better because you will need to factor in the lowest angle up to the threshold you can get. Wheelchair uses and indeed cares both have to be considered there is the factor of effort involved in pushing or hand wheeling the chair up the desired height. Removable ramps are an additional option in some of the above detailed cases. There are also automatically retracting ramps available if there is sufficient funding.
Handrails Handles and Stairs
Handrails and handles should also be implemented in ways that are sufficient to allow the disabled person to pull themselves into the building and or other entrance ways. These will need to be carefully thought thru and be at the correct positions and heights as to allow the user the easiest access to the space. In the cases of upper storey buildings the stairs are always a big factor of course.
There are some very good installers who deal with these thing online to the point of installing stairlifts. Simply Google Stairlifts and you will see there are a myriad of choices to choose from depending on the type of building design you have.
In domestic dwellings most of these will be made to measure depending on what kind of thing is needed after all in some cases there are landings to be considered where the lift will need to go thru a 90* angle at the top of the stairs. The professional fitters will be needed to come into the area and measure up for the refit in cases like this.
Thresholds and How To’s
As we pointed out in the cases above regarding ramps and access the entrance thresholds are also a consideration. They should always be reduced to allow easy and smooth “rolling over” from the outside to the inside of the premises in simple terms the outer and inner areas of the property’s should have the same height.
This means doorway sills and linings need to be kept at a minimum height with a view to being as flat as possible (no wheeling resistance) for the advantage of the user. The easier you can make it for them the better it will be.