How Much Should You Budget to Remodel Your Home for Wheelchair Accessibility in Texas?
If you are remodeling your home to make it more accessible to someone with physical disabilities, there are many things to consider. The purpose of this Remodeling Cost Guide is to help provide information about the types of things that can be done to facilitate making your home more usable, for example, to someone who might be confined to a wheelchair or personal mobility device.
Handicap Access Ramps
When a handicap access ramp is needed, deciding where to install it is an important consideration. Once inside the door, the individual needs to maneuver their wheelchair or mobility vehicle to the essential rooms in the home – the kitchen, an accessible bathroom and a bedroom. More often than not, the front door will provide the best entry point into the areas of the home containing these rooms. The key is to allow the person to most easily get to these important rooms.
If other entry doors provides the same access, then you’ve got options, and issues outside the home can be considered.
Building Access Ramps
The first thing most consider is adding when completing outdoor handicap projects is a ramp to one of the exterior doors. These are typically built from pressure-treated wood, which is the most affordable. Building the ramp from composite decking, aluminum decking or a synthetic wood material will increase costs and might be more attractive and durable. The materials for a project like this will cost $500-$2,000 depending on what material you use, how long and wide the ramp is, and other factors.
Exterior Concerns When Placing an Access Ramp
Is the home located in a snowy climate? Clearing the ramp of snow and ice can be difficult, and if the person is alone at least part of the time, this will severely limit their mobility. If the home has an attached garage, and the garage has an entry door into the home, placing the ramp in the garage might be a consideration. The garage will have to be at a 2-car garage at least, since the ramp will take up the space of one car.
Safe access ramps are required to have a landing at the top. Building codes differ, but it’s usually 5 square feet. One place such a landing already exists is on a deck, if the home has one. If there is a sidewalk leading to the deck, building the ramp onto the deck is worth considering. If the deck already provides a suitable landing, you’ll save on the cost of materials. If no sidewalk exists, adding one, or widening an existing one, will add significantly to the home remodeling costs.
Widening an exterior door will generally cost more than widening an interior door since siding or brick is harder to work with and more costly. The exterior door will also be more expensive. While much of the cost is in labor for this type of project, expect the total material cost for the job to be $75 to $500 or more if you choose a high-end exterior door. There will be many other living areas in your home that have doors that need to be widened to accept the use of a wheelchair, so be cognizant of those as well.
Replacing Carpet with Hard Flooring
While carpet may not be an issue for some people with disabilities, it is harder to maneuver a wheelchair on it, and the legs of walkers are prone to catch in it. See our remodeling cost guide on flooring for the specifics of costs. Inexpensive flooring material begins at about $2 per square foot, but can be several times more expensive depending on what you select. You may not need to replace flooring in the entire home, but it will be important to replace it so that the individual can get to essential rooms.
Installing Grab Bars
These safety features as part of a bathroom remodel are a good idea in any home, and they are fairly affordable. Expect to pay $30-$60 for the materials. Installation will be extra.
DIY Installation of Tub or Shower or Hire a Pro?
This is where things can get quite expensive. Walk-in showers and bathtubs start at more than $1,000 and most cost more than $2,500. That’s just for the shower or tub, not the cost of removing an older shower or tub and installing the new one.
If you are able to do some of this work yourself, you’ll save a considerable amount of money because labor accounts for more than 50% of the cost of some of these projects.
If you choose to hire a contractor, look for one with experience in these types of projects. It will serve you well to get at least 3 written estimates for your total home remodeling costs, including bathroom remodeling costs and bedroom remodeling costs. Meet with each of the contractors you are considering and go over the entire job with them. If they’ve done this kind of remodeling before, they’ll probably have some helpful ideas for you for making your home more accessible, convenient and comfortable for the person you are making the modifications to accommodate.
Meeting with them will also give you the opportunity to evaluate their experience and expertise, since you want to make sure these important renovations are done correctly. Check with the local building department too, to see if there are specific building codes that apply to this type of work.