DIY Network

Tips on How to Make a Home "Handi-capable"

Check out a few of the ADA guidelines for making a user-friendly home.

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Here are a few of the Americans With Disablitlies Act (ADA) standards that can help you transform a home into a disabled-friendly space.

  • Remove any loose carpeting or rugs.

  • Use a cordless phone and keep it with you at all times. A cordless phone will prevent you from having to hurry to another room when the phone rings.

  • Move furniture to allow for a 5-foot turning radius.

  • Replace doorknobs with door levers.

  • Install grab bars in the bathroom around the toilet. These need to be between 33 and 36 inches high, and the grab bar next to the toilet needs to be at least 42 inches in length. And, be sure to install proper fittings and a bar that will support the weight of an average sized adult.

  • Install a non-slip floor in the bathroom.

  • Change traditional height toilets to the taller handicapped models. These toilets measure above the finished floor between 17 to 19 inches.

  • Install lavatories at a height of 34 inches maximum with a minimum knee clearance of 24 inches. Faucets should have either lever handles on sinks or switch to motion detection sinks.

  • Use drop leaf, rolling carts in the kitchen to create a work area.

  • Install mini ramps on high door thresholds with a rising grade of 7 percent.

  • Install a hose or nozzle system in the shower. In addition, it's a good idea to install grab bars in the shower and tub.

  • Pave all driveways and walkways.

  • Enlarge doorways to a minimum of 36 inches wide.

  • Move mailboxes to an accessible point and lower them to a level you can reach from your chair.

  • Drop light switches to accommodate the reach of those in wheelchairs.

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