Accessibility In Woodlands Kitchens
Sometimes families have to remodel their kitchens to suit the needs of the other people living in the house. Many families, not only in woodland areas but all over, take care of their elderly relatives or even people with disabilities. It is for this reason that kitchens need to be accessible to everyone at all times. Here are a few tips for you to consider should you find yourself in such a position:
Windows and Doors:
It would be advisable for you to widen the doors and hallways leading to your kitchen. This would make it easier for people with walkers, canes, or wheelchairs to come and go as they please. Consider installing lever door handles if you have a door separating your kitchen from the rest of the house as well as installing crank operated windows.
Plumbing and Electricals:
If you have any unused electrical outlets in your kitchen, consider raising them a bit higher from the ground – 15 or 18 inches as opposed to the usual 12 inches. This will make it easier for someone who is incapable of bending down to also get access to these outlets. The light switches should be a recommended 36 – 44 inches above the ground. Be sure to install single lever water controls as well as a pressure balance anti-scald valve at sinks. There should be enough knee space underneath the sink for a person with weak legs or who is in a wheelchair to sit comfortably while washing up.
Working Space and Storage:
The height of the counters or any other workspace should be adjustable at least at a recommended 28 – 42 inches. Consider installing stretches of countertops in order for people to slide heavy items across the surface. The pantry should be easily accessible with pull-out shelves with adjustable height. Cabinets should have a space between its face and the wall measuring at least at about 48 inches.
Access to appliances should be safe at all times with enough space to use it. Consider installing frost-mounted controls on appliances. A built-in oven and separate cook top is always a good idea, but make sure there is enough knee space underneath both. It is recommended that you purchase a side-by-side refrigerator for easy access to all items. This will also save you some space. As far as the dishwasher is concerned, consider raising it onto a platform so that the top rack is on the same level as its adjacent countertop.
Walls and Stairs:
It is advisable for you to avoid any type of interior stairs in your kitchen. This would obviously be problematic for someone who is unable to climb them. If you really can’t avoid stairs, consider installing a ramp instead. Use different colours to contrast between the trim and the surface of the floor.
For other design ideas or recommendations, be sure to contact any foundation specializing in the illness or disability that you have to cater for.