Is Your Two Story Home a Good Candidate for Accessibility Upgrades?

The choice between selling and renovating the home is a decision that stops many homeowners in their tracks. An injury, disability, or progressive mobility-related condition can change the way you view you view your two story property – the once tolerable flight of stairs can stand in the way when all factors are considered.

Whether your mobility concerns are simple or complex, this guide will cover a few of the most popular accessibility modifications and their ideal applications so you can gauge the complexity of your own renovation goals. It’s always nice to know (in general terms) how well your home is suited to the necessary adaptations.

Adaptations to Address the Stairs

A two story home might be ideal if it were not for the staircase. There are definitely a few workable options available for homeowners who are looking to cut down on necessary trips up and down the stairs and homeowners who want to eliminate the need to use the stairs altogether.

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Stair lifts, for example, are a common stairway accessory that can transport one person up the stairs at a time. Cost does increase as the complexity of the staircase increases, but perch-style lifts might work for situations where tight spaces are limiting.

Stair lifts are not the ideal choice for people who use wheelchairs but those who don’t mind frequent transfers can make this option work as well. Otherwise, a platform style lift might suit your needs a little better. Platform lifts do take up a lot of space, and if the staircase is particularly complex you might even be able to save money by going with a vertical model instead.

Vertical lifts have a much smaller footprint but do require a strong and dependable structure for installation. The price is reasonable and the ease of use is incredible. The problem is that standing riders will need to upgrade to a full residential elevator and the same goes for people who use wheelchairs and want to ride with a caregiver.

Dealing With the Question of Cargo

Cargo is a whole different matter. Carrying heavy loads of laundry and supplies upstairs is not safe for anybody, regardless of age or physical ability. Stair lifts often come with optional cargo attachments, but the weight limits can be prohibitive.

We suggest installing a dumbwaiter as the ultimate catch-all solution – if your home is arranged in such a way that can accommodate a longer shaft, you can even connect it from the garage up through the main level and then to the second floor. Look for easy to install dumbwaiters to cut down on setup costs.

Is your two-level home worth the modifications that will make it accessible? For those who love where they live, and have built strong memories there, the sentimental loss would be insurmountable. In some cases, the modifications are worth all of the effort in the world. Is your home accessibility makeover material? Consult with a local contractor to see the bottom line and work your way up from there, you might be surprised at the affordability of modern accessibility aids.

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