Buying or Selling Property & Wheelchair Users

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When buying or selling a home for wheelchair users doorways are a feature that could make or break a sale. Doorways are of particular importance in making a home easy to move around in. Unfortunately many homes built in the 1930s are not the greatest places to find suitable doorways. So if your selling a home to a wheelchair user widening doorways or finding a quote to do so could help clinch that sale.

For most people in a wheelchair, it’s easier to manage a doorway opening rather than a door itself, or at least a sliding door – opening doors with handles can be difficult. Doorways need to be at least 75cm wide to allow access for a wheelchair.
Make sure that any steps within the doorway are minimised. This can be done by using mini ramps so that there is less likelihood of getting stuck or tipping over. It is also worth attaching kick plates onto the door frames so that less damage is caused by the inevitable knocks and bumps.

A good tip for keeping the paintwork is attaching kick plates to door frames reduces the damage caused by wheelchairs

For someone who is mobile but needs help moving around the home, then it is essential that the doorway is wide enough to get two people through at a time. This may be a standard 75cm width or more, but again get a proper assessment done to see if it’s worth widening.
Help is at hand to adapt your home particularly from social services departments of your local council who can complete an assessment of your home. The assessments are usually completed by an occupational therapist who will assess what changes would best meet your needs. When they have completed your assessment they decide whether any adaptations are needed to your home – if they do you can be awarded a Disabled Facilities Grant.
It is standard practice for local councils to give a grant to eligible applicants so that houses are suitable for disabled people. Some of the costs may be payable by yourself; however in some cases they are fully covered by the council.
Some estate agents may advise to rip out adapted equipment toilets and kitchens to sell a home.  The House Shop encourage people selling their homes that have been adapted to list with us and put the adaptations to good use. All listings include ability to highlight features suitable for disabled home owners. We also send each listing to the Accessible Property Register.

Useful websites

Adapting your home : Directgov – Disabled people

Adapting a home for an older or disabled person-Information

Adapting your home – advice for disabled people – Help the Aged

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