11 Oct 2018

An abundance of ways to make your self-build more accessible

Nobody knows what the future holds. Sometimes, illnesses can make everyday life more difficult or ageing parents may need to be cared for. Whatever the situation, over time, your housing requirements can change.

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Here, Hanse Haus discusses why it recommends that every new-build incorporates accessibility features from the start.

Achieved through architectural design and modified furniture, accessibility means that your self-build can be used by people with disabilities without additional help. Accessibility gives individuals the opportunity to continue living normal lives. It ensures improved quality of life, and comfort in old age.

For bungalows, clever floorplans can make it possible to efficiently realise a large amount of living space with only a modest floor area.

Where a two-storey house is most desirable, there are many options to create a barrier-free, accessible home. For example, partial areas can be designed in such a way that they will eventually enable barrier-free living. Bedrooms and bathrooms can be accommodated on the ground floor, making it accessible to those whose ability to walk is restricted. Bathrooms can be equipped with showers and toilets that are wheelchair-friendly. The shower, for example, can be at ground level with support brackets built-in. Another option is to integrate a lift into your self-build ensuring all floors remain accessible.

It is advisable to construct passages and doors at least 100cm in width. Designs can be modified so there are no steps in the entrance area and no threshold on exterior doors, which enables unobstructed access. Alternatively, a wheelchair ramp may be incorporated. Robust floorcoverings with a low rolling resistance such as laminate or tiles should also be a consideration when planning interior layouts.

No matter if you are restricted by age, use a wheelchair or simply want to plan for the future, there are an abundance of ways to make your self-build more accessible.

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