There are a lot of reasons why homeowners in the Lehigh Valley choose to get home improvements, but improving accessibility might be one of the most important. For many people, aging in place is much more appealing than leaving a comfortable, familiar home because it's not as accessible as it could be. It's possible to stay comfortable, safe and secure in your current home with professional Lehigh Valley home accessibility improvements from your local handyman.
Few buildings are designed with full accessibility in mind. Whether you live in an older house or a newer condo, there are likely changes you could make to improve your overall home accessibility—and those improvements will have benefits for everybody living in your home. With help from a local handyman, you don't even have to do that work yourself.
Getting the benefits of home accessibility improvements is as easy as making an appointment with your local Lehigh Valley handyman. Whether you want to improve your home for your own sake or to help improve the life of a friend or family member, Mr. Handyman of Easton, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Allentown and the Lehigh Valley can get the job done. We offer a wide variety of services to improve Lehigh Valley home accessibility.
Bathroom Renovations That Improve Lehigh Valley Home Accessibility
For many people with disabilities, bathrooms present several challenges. From slippery floors to poor lighting and everything in between, there are many ways that a bathroom can present challenges for even the most able-bodied people in the Lehigh Valley. It's possible to remove those challenges with professional bathroom remodeling services.
Some materials that are traditionally used for bathroom flooring are not ideal for people who use mobility assistance devices or have poor stability. Older cracked tiles or tiles with wide grout lines could also present a challenge for some people. If you're trying to improve home accessibility with bathroom modifications, flooring replacement is often the best place to start.
Best Bathroom Flooring Material For Home Accessibility:
Vinyl: Luxury vinyl tile and vinyl plank (LVT and LVP) are common bathroom flooring choices in the Lehigh Valley that meet ADA home accessibility standards. They are not too costly, and installation is relatively easy. LVT and LVP are also waterproof, which make them great for bathrooms, and there are a variety of matte and smooth finishes available for providing optimal traction.
Cork: A slightly pricier flooring option with many benefits is cork flooring. Cork is waterproof and dries quickly. It's also naturally non-slip, and warmer and softer than other materials. However, because its softness can impede wheels, cork isn't ideal for wheelchair users or those with mobility scooters.
Small Mosaic Tiles: If you're set on having tiles, the best choice is small mosaic tiles. Overall, tile is still an acceptable choice for home accessibility, and it's often used to cover the walls and floors of wet rooms and bathrooms that are designed with accessibility in mind. Smaller tiles are best because they have thinner grout lines and provide a more even surface that's easier for those with wheeled mobility devices to cross.
Rubber: If slipping and falling are concerns for your bathroom flooring, then rubber is another great choice. It's highly slip-resistant, even when wet, and its soft surface provides some impact absorption in the case of fall.
Curbless Shower Conversions
If getting in and out of the shower is an area of difficulty, a curbless shower will greatly improve quality of life. A curbless—a.k.a. zero-entry—shower has no lip at the bottom, and its flooring is slightly angled, so that water will drain away in a central drain rather than flowing out over the edge.
Completing a curbless shower conversion may involve removing your current bathtub, or it may simply involve removing the lip at the base of your standing shower and widening the door. The key objective is to remove any barriers present for anyone who could struggle with getting in and out of the shower.
Shower Seat and Shower Bench Installation
A shower seat can make a big difference for anyone's showering experience. Sometimes, we all just need to sit down for a second. There are many options available for shower seats in the Lehigh Valley, from permanent installations to fold away units that offer support or space as needed.
If you have a standing, curbless shower and there's enough room inside, it's also possible to add a permanent shower bench. A bench adds places for someone to sit, but it also provides additional areas to store shampoo, soap and other objects that could be tripping hazards when placed on the floor.
Grab Bar Installation
Grab bars and railings provide extra support for people with poor balance or reduced mobility. Showers are the most common location for grab bars, but it's possible to install them in other areas of your bathroom too, such as near toilets and vanities.
Lighting Installation and Replacement
Poor lighting in a bathroom can make it difficult for those with vision challenges to see what they are doing, and excessively high lighting can present challenges for those with light sensitivity. In either case, it's possible to replace and install lighting that's more suitable and user-friendly.
It's also possible to relocate outlets and light switches, so that they are easily accessible. Another common modification is replacing switches with dimmers, so that anyone using your bathroom can select the level of light that works best for them.
Kitchen Remodeling for Lehigh Valley Home Accessibility
Kitchens are a key area for Lehigh Valley home accessibility modifications. Standard kitchens present many potential challenges for people with all types of disabilities, yet they're some of the most essential areas of any home. It's important that any kitchen is fully accessible for all the people who need to use that space, and there are many potential kitchen remodeling projects that will ensure your kitchen is easy for anyone to use.
Low Countertop Installation
Standard kitchen countertops in many Lehigh Valley homes are installed at a height that is too high for people who use wheelchairs and walkers. Installing new countertops at a slightly lower height will ensure that those areas are fully accessible.
The ADA recommendations for countertop height state that the maximum height should be no more than 36 inches, but an even lower height may be better for your specific Lehigh Valley home accessibility needs. The best method to determine the optimal height is to take measurements based on the height requirements of everyone living in your home.
Kitchen Cabinet and Storage Replacement
Cabinet replacement is a common part of many kitchen renovations, but there are specific solutions that work best for cabinet replacement when it comes to improving Lehigh Valley home accessibility. In general, relocating storage so that it's within easy reach is the most common solution. That usually involves lowering cabinets, or adding additional cupboards below your counter or kitchen island.
Another option for cabinet replacement is adding open shelving instead of cupboards and cabinets, so that needed items are always easily accessible and there are no doors creating potential obstacles in tight spaces. You can also add additional storage closer to the ground by adding wide drawers beneath your cupboards, in the areas that your baseboards would normally cover.
You can also add plenty of unique storage options to your cupboards themselves by creating drawers with specific designs for items that are normally stored in high cabinets. Common options include a deep drawer for stacking dishes or a hidden spice rack drawer. A hidden garbage drawer is another common option for storing garbage, recycling and compost bins in a place that's tucked away, which helps free up floor space.
Removing Cupboards and Kitchen Islands
Sometimes, the best option for improving home accessibility in a kitchen is removing cupboards to create legroom underneath counters, stove tops and sinks. That extra legroom makes life easier for wheelchair users and those who may need to sit down while washing dishes, cooking or using counter space.
In some kitchens, the island is more of an obstacle than it seems. If your kitchen island creates tight, narrow walkways around your kitchen with sharp corners and turns, eliminating it may be a great option for adding additional space to move around. It's also possible to replace a large island with something smaller, or with a moving workspace that can be rolled out of the way when necessary.
Other Kitchen Modifications for Lehigh Valley Home Accessibility Include:
Pullout cutting boards just below your counter
Pullout dish racks that can be lowered down from inside cabinets
Pullout storage units for cupboards and cabinets
Drawer and cabinet handles that are easy to grab
Countertops with rounded edges instead of corners
Lower light switches, outlets and appliances
General Lehigh Valley Home Accessibility Improvements
There are many kinds of home accessibility improvements for properties in the Lehigh Valley. By completing a series of general home improvement projects, it's possible to make every space you use fully convenient and safe for everyone.
A full service handyman team like the experts at Mr. Handyman of Easton, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Allentown and the Lehigh Valley can provide a wide range of services and solutions for Lehigh Valley home accessibility improvements. If you're not sure what you need, or what's possible, for your home accessibility improvements, it can be helpful to seek out advice from a professional local handyman for potential projects around your home.
When people think about ramps, they usually picture a long, straight, permanent wheelchair ramp that extends toward a door or landing, but there are many more options for ramp installation in Lehigh Valley homes than just a standard long ramp. Of course, if there's space for a straight ramp and that's the most convenient option for meeting your needs, then it's a great choice for anyone.
If you have limited space in front of your home, it's possible to create wraparound ramps that have a landing at their halfway point for turning around. If you don't want a permanent ramp, there are safe, modular units which are often more convenient for temporary installations.
There are also smaller ramps for providing easy access to lower steps and landings. If you just need a ramp that leads up to a single step, you can install a small, portable ramp that doesn't take up much space. Threshold ramps are a similar option used for small rises of one to six inches.
One of the most common challenges for people with disabilities is navigating narrow spaces. Many doorways in Lehigh Valley homes are too narrow for those with walkers, wheelchairs and other mobility assistance devices to pass through easily, but it's possible to widen those doorways, so that anyone can enter and exit with ease.
Widening doorways can be a complicated, costly project, but depending on the layout of your home, there may be additional possibilities for increasing entryway access. Installing swing-clear hinges on doors is an easy way to improve clearance by a few inches. For interior entryways, you could also simply remove doors entirely if they're not needed for privacy.
Another key doorway modification is replacing knobs with handles, which are generally easier to grab. Ensure that all handles are also low enough to be easily accessible. It's also possible to add automatic locks and door openers, which make it much easier for those with reduced mobility to come and go.
Additional Lehigh Valley Home Accessibility Modifications:
Handrail replacement and installation
Automatic light installation
Pathway light installation
Carpet flooring replacement
Do You Need Lehigh Valley Home Accessibility Improvements?
There are many possible repairs and modifications that a local handyman can help you complete. The home improvement experts at Mr. Handyman of Easton, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Allentown and the Lehigh Valley offer a wide range of services, and each member of our team has many years of experience completing home improvement projects in Lehigh County and nearby areas.
Whether you already know which Lehigh Valley home improvements you need or you want to discuss your options, we're here to help! Our knowledgeable, skilled experts provided guaranteed workmanship for all kinds of home repairs, maintenance and renovations, and we always provide exceptional customer service with a smile.Call 610-463-1667 to schedule an appointment with us or learn more about how we can help you complete a home accessibility remodel. We proudly serve Easton, Bethlehem and nearby areas of Northampton and Lehigh County.