HP Construction
handicap access remodel


I bid this job to a broker, an agency that advertises ADA accessibility. They act as go-between, and had strict guidelines I had to agree to.  

The homeowner was a worker's comp recipient, injured at work and now confined to a wheelchair. Some work had been done to make his home accessible to him, but much more was needed.

A spinal injury destroyed his equilibrium, and affected his motor skills. But he has done many things they said he'd never do again. He is mentally alert, able to drive himself around, and manages very well under his circumstances.

The obvious problem with the kitchen was that there was no way a person in a wheelchair could access this kitchen sink.

I bid to tear out the base cabinets, and go back with new wood cabinets, to match as closely as possible with the upper cabinets (that were to remain) - but with access for a wheelchair to get to the kitchen sink.

The microwave faced into the kitchen, making it inconvenient for the homeowner - our new cabinet was built so that it faced out of the kitchen (90 degrees to the left) as part of the remodel. Base and upper cabinets were added by the back door, to compensate for base cabinet space lost in the makeover.

Carpet in the living room and master bedroom was replaced with tile, as regular residential padded carpet and wheelchairs are not a good mix.

The heater closet door was damaged by the homeowner while trying to get his wheelchair into the hall bathroom. I changed the hall bathroom door to a 3' 0" door, adding 4" to the opening. And I replaced the damaged heater closet door with a new, solid-core door.

For the bathrooms, I began with sketches for the two bathroom makeovers, as they required more planning and forethought. The hall bath vanity had to come out, with a wall-mounted sink and a small base cabinet going in. The toilet and shower in this bath remained pretty much as is.

In the master bathroom the toilet was blocking access to the shower, and had to be moved to an adjacent wall. The vanity came out, and a wall-mounted sink went where the toilet was.  New cabinets were built to fit the space leftover for them, and a builit-in shower seat was added.

This door out the back of the garage was replaced with a larger one, and a new concrete ramp poured over the old one.

This was not a true ADA remodel, but just a compromise working with what was there, to try to make it more accessible to the homeowner.

Now, the homeowner can get to his kitchen sink, roll his wheelchair up to his shower, use both bathroom sinks out of his wheelchair, roll freely around his living room and master bedroom, and roll out the back of his garage to access the side of the house. 

Overall, a resounding success, despite the limitations of the project (I really wish, as does he, they would have let me build him a new house from scratch, with wheelchair accessibility designed right in!)
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