Home remodel and modifications are not just limited to the interior of a home. People want to be able to access their front and back yards, side yards, driveways, porches, etc… People should be able to access and enjoy all areas of their home without having to hassle with barriers. So let’s go a step further and look at some helpful tips to make your landscape more accessible when you are doing a home remodel.
Tip #1 Maintain Level Ground
If you have ever pushed in a wheelchair you know how difficult it is to push up a steep slope, over uneven terrain, gravel, etc… When looking at remodeling your landscape look at making walkways as level and flat as possible for easy navigation. If you need to have a slope or incline, because of the land or whatever, make it a nice easy transition.
Tip #2 Incorporate Smooth Surfaces
If you want all areas of your yard and landscape to be accessible you are going to have to make walkways to get to all areas. You will want to make sure the surfaces are smooth so someone with a wheelchair, walker, cane, or scooter can access it and easily get around. If you are remodeling to make it more accessible for individuals with visual impairments you can make each area a different type of surface so people know when they transition to a new area. For example: smooth brick pavers on patio, natural stone pavers on paths, and stamped cement on the pool deck.
Tip #3 Give Yourself a Wide Enough Surface
There is nothing accessible about narrow pathways. We see it all the time out in the community and it is difficult for people with physical disabilities to get around and navigate. So when you are drawing up your plans for your new landscape make sure to have all walkways, pathways, access to entry ways to be wide enough for someone in a power chair to fit through. And when designing patio areas make sure to have enough room for people to navigate around a table, grill, or bar area.
Tip #4 Use Walls to Create Boundaries
Just as it’s important to provide handholds, grab bars, or rails inside the home to provide extra support, retaining walls and other surfaces of various heights can be helpful in an accessible landscape. Besides, walls can also double as seating areas and visually separate your outdoor areas to create outdoor “rooms” with different functions. It is all about function and design.
Tip #5 Don’t Forget the Pool
Swimming pools can be great for rehabilitative exercise as well as fun and relaxation for everyone. If you’re building a new backyard swimming pool or retrofitting an existing pool to be more accessible — consider adding a sloped beach entry instead of steps to make it easier for everyone to get into the pool. Or if you are limited on what you can remodel around your pool area look at adding a pool lift so everyone can access it. If you have steps in your pool you are retrofitting you can also add handrails to help make it easier for people to get in and out of as well. And it’s even more important to have a sturdy, reliable cover to protect everyone.
So when looking at home remodel for your outdoor area with an accessibility element to it check out ADL Solutions in Tempe AZ. We can help you plan, design, and execute your ideas and turn your landscape into an area that is accessible for anyone. Contact ADL Solutions today at 480-636-1816 in Tempe AZ to schedule a time for a staff member to come out and do an evaluation of your home.
This article was written by Tiffany Wilkinson. She is the Director of Sales & Marketing for ADL Solutions in Tempe AZ. She has her B.S. in Community Health specializing in Rehabilitation Services and Health Education from the University of Illinois. She is also the women’s coach for the Banner Mercury Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team here in Phoenix AZ. She has over 10 years of experience and volunteer work within the disability community.