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Garage Conversions for Disabilities: Making Your Home More Accessible

If you're looking to make your home more accessible for yourself or a disabled loved one, a garage conversion can be an ideal solution. With a few simple modifications, your garage can become a comfortable and accommodating living space that meets accessibility standards and helps make life easier.

Prepare Your Garage Space.

Before converting your garage, you'll need to get the space ready. To do this, remove any unattached pieces of furniture, tools, and other items that may be taking up precious square footage. Then make sure you have plenty of room for passage by cleaning out all clutter and lifting up anything that’s lying low to the floor. If necessary, create a place to store additional items such as sports gear, work supplies, etc. Lastly, inspect your walls for any exposed wiring and cover it with protective casing for safety.

Install Structural Supports.

After you’ve cleared the space and accounted for any wiring, it's time to start building your garage conversion. This means installing the structural supports needed to ensure your space is soundly built and up to code. Depending on what kind of conversion you’re undertaking, this could mean reinforcing walls or adding an additional sub-flooring that provides additional support and stability. So before getting started on adding in amenities, make sure you have a structurally sound plan in place for maximum success and accessibility.

Upgrade the Ceiling and Doors.

One of the fastest ways to improve accessibility in a garage conversion is to upgrade the ceiling and door heights. If you are adding extra living space, it is important to ensure there is enough headspace for people of all shapes, sizes, and physical limitations. Hang a new ceiling that has a higher minimum clearance or consider raising your existing doors so they are easier to get through when using chairs or mobility aids. This can make accessing new rooms easier and be an aesthetically pleasing choice at the same time.

Install Wheelchair Ramps, Elevators, or Lifts.

If you have a garage that requires elevated entries, such as split-level homes, then installing wheelchair ramps, elevators, or lifts could be an important part of your conversion. These mobility aids will help make the home more accessible for people with physical impairments and can often be customised in style to blend in with the rest of your design. Consider specialist solutions depending on where the access is needed, like inclined platform lifts which are ideal for overcoming steps or vertical platform lifts which offer full lift access indoors or outdoors.

Add Accessible Lighting and Appliances.

Accessible lighting and appliances can dramatically improve accessibility in the rest of your home too. Install appropriate switches that are easier to use, such as pull strings or rockers which require less effort than traditional switches and dimmers. Consider adding a kitchen that is designed with accessibility in mind, such as lower counters and roll-under ovens or microwaves, or wheelchair accessible bathrooms with adjustable sink heights, grab rails, and special showers. Ultimately these alterations will make life easier for everyone no matter their ability level.

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