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Making house wheelchair accessible in a long weekend?

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Making house wheelchair accessible in a long weekend?

Old 12-18-2019, 05:58 AM
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Default Making house wheelchair accessible in a long weekend?

lets say youve got a small post ww2 ranch on slab. 3/1/1, a bit over 1000 sf. I assume most of you if you're responding have been in one of these homes. Seen one you've seen em all. So you can picture this.

Door is one low step up, with plenty of room for a ramp, but with thick carpet once inside. Bathroom is about 9.5x5. Tub against the wall. 24" ISL door, linen closet on right. Down the hall is master at end, with 30" door.

I want to do the following Friday-Sunday with a competent helper. I've got experience doing all the below stuff. This is not work for money, just making some changes to facilitate a family members lifestyle. It's also a plane ride away, so I'm tool-less but I've been assured my helper (cousin) has ample tools for this job.

Is this realistic, and what am I missing?

Knock out linen closet, make bath door 32"
Demo and reframe to make master door 32"
demo tub shower, make that a "roll in" tub tiled floor tiled walls. add bars for support, add bench/seat
**is it realistic to think a 96 year old can move himself from chair to seat??
swap toilet for higher one
swap vanity for lower one.
Do something abuot carpet in living room, bedrooms, and entry. It's thick and plush. Rest of house is stick on linoleum or something.
Old 12-18-2019, 06:02 AM
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If your definition of a, "long weekend", is 7 days, then sure. Otherwise, the logistics of getting the right supplies, getting the tools you need in addition to what cousin brings, demo materials being taken to the dump, sheetrock/trim/painting......geez, what a project. Kudos to you for being such a good guy, but you need a calendar, not a clock, no matter how fast you work.
Old 12-18-2019, 06:04 AM
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how can you be sure they wll like the higher toilet. a plumber friend said he has installed about 10 and everyone hated them many had them changed- maybe use grab bars if toilet is near a wall
Old 12-18-2019, 06:07 AM
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What are the top 3 on the list? I'd say removing carpet and laying plank hardwood will allow movement inside the house (otherwise screw down plywood over the carpet if that's not the main issue, but still needs to be done).
Doors would be a top 3 need. Toilet and vanity are wants at this point. Tub/shower are needs, but older house and the plumbing might chew up a lot more of your time than expected.
Old 12-18-2019, 06:11 AM
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With two highly experienced craftsman, all materials on site, 16 hr days, you stand a chance of completion. The tub area renovation is the wildcard.
Old 12-18-2019, 06:14 AM
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Definitely an aggressive schedule. I would be looking at portions of it you can reasonably sub out to any ole contractor and let the local cousin supervise that part after the heavy work is done. Getting rid of the carpet is the first thing that comes to mind there. Even lowes/HD can take care of basic flooring replacement kinda sorta competently.

Regarding whether or not a 96 year old can move from chair to bench on their own, IMO it's really irrelevant regarding the work getting done, assuming they wish to stay in the home. Bath layout wise there isn't much difference between them doing it under their own power or with the assistance of in home care. Not sure the dynamic between you/cousin/occupant of house, but would probably try to arrange for them to be someplace else while all the dust is flying.
Old 12-18-2019, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Double tyme View Post
lets say youve got a small post ww2 ranch on slab. 3/1/1, a bit over 1000 sf. I assume most of you if you're responding have been in one of these homes. Seen one you've seen em all. So you can picture this.

Door is one low step up, with plenty of room for a ramp, but with thick carpet once inside. Bathroom is about 9.5x5. Tub against the wall. 24" ISL door, linen closet on right. Down the hall is master at end, with 30" door.

I want to do the following Friday-Sunday with a competent helper. I've got experience doing all the below stuff. This is not work for money, just making some changes to facilitate a family members lifestyle. It's also a plane ride away, so I'm tool-less but I've been assured my helper (cousin) has ample tools for this job.

Is this realistic, and what am I missing?

Knock out linen closet, make bath door 32"
Demo and reframe to make master door 32"
demo tub shower, make that a "roll in" tub tiled floor tiled walls. add bars for support, add bench/seat
**is it realistic to think a 96 year old can move himself from chair to seat??
swap toilet for higher one
swap vanity for lower one.
Do something abuot carpet in living room, bedrooms, and entry. It's thick and plush. Rest of house is stick on linoleum or something.
Where is the house? If local to me, I would be happy to help, including tools.

The vanity should be open underneath, not just lower.

Maybe a THT S.W.A.T (Saturday Wheelchair Accessibility Team) can show up...

Last edited by aubv; 12-18-2019 at 06:23 AM.
Old 12-18-2019, 06:26 AM
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For me, the tub - shower change would kill the weekend schedule.
Do you need to build a ramp for entry to the house?
Old 12-18-2019, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by edwardh1 View Post
how can you be sure they wll like the higher toilet. a plumber friend said he has installed about 10 and everyone hated them many had them changed- maybe use grab bars if toilet is near a wall

When i was wheelchair bound one of the best things we did to the house was the elongated handicap toilet.. we added 2 grab bars one directly arcoss from the toilet on the wall and the other we called the stripper pole it went from the floor to the celing made it super easy to transfer from the chair to toilet.
Old 12-18-2019, 06:45 AM
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I have a disabled child . He is blind, has CP and needs assistance to walk. He is severely disabled and is now 21. I have built 3 handicap accessible homes. You need 36 inch doors, not 32s and put grab bars around the toilet. Ideally you want a 5 foot radius around the toilet too. The shower size seems ok, but definitely roll in and with grab bars. Any ramp should not exceed 1 to 12 on the slope.

Your time frame seems compressed. However, maybe if the demo work could be done in advance of your arrival it could be done? Have all the door ways torn out, have the bathroom ripped out and all that jazz. Have all the supplies delivered and such and then you show up.
Old 12-18-2019, 06:48 AM
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Yeah I think you're being unrealistic because of the tub. The rest of it you can pull off in a long weekend assuming no major surprises.

Don't forget that even removing the carpet could turn into a half day job as you end up having to remove 9000 linear feat of nail strips. And reframing the doors to widen also involves trim work and painting.

Make sure this is actually what the family member wants. And make sure they will be ok with "not quite cosmetically perfect" when you're done.
Old 12-18-2019, 07:01 AM
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It might be easier to add the shower or a free standing walk in tub unit adjacent to the old tub in another room . That way it can be converted back for resale later . The walk in tub drain I did was above grade and dropped right into the p trap in the slab . Never chipped one piece of concrete . It was in the spare bedroom
Old 12-18-2019, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by aubv View Post
.The vanity should be open underneath, not just lower.
And route the sink drain and faucet lines out of the way.
Old 12-18-2019, 07:10 AM
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Grab bars - if you run into hollow wall issues when locating grab bars, Lowes has Moen brand bars and hollow wall kits that are excellent and make the installation VERY strong. My wife is handicapped and I have these in our bathroom. Good luck.
Old 12-18-2019, 07:10 AM
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I have a lot of experience at all these and shouldn't have issues getting materials on site ahead of time. My cousin is a hard worker but not treribly experienced, though he Has done it all once or twice.

Friday I do all demo solo. Cousin helps after work, get tub out together.
Saturday, framing, sheetrock (minimal), Hang doors, trim. Tile shower base, hang durock and waterproof. Long day.
Sunday grout in am. Then vanity, toilet, grab bars.

Carpet, is carpet an issue? That's more of a question? In my day job carpet becomes LVT in a day for $5 a sf, or laminate for $3.50 a sf. This is in CT so I assume more, but not much.

We are both yuong and healthy and i work quick. .this won't be drinking beer telling jokes screwnig off, it'll be hustling, sweating, cutting fingers, dust flying.

Old 12-18-2019, 07:13 AM
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My Mother in law is 8 months out of hospital and permanently confined to wheel chair now.

We did pretty much all that you did, remove carpet, widen replace entry door and reverse swing to make ramp easier. Widen entry and just remove couple interior doors ( bedroom closet, and door from entry laundry room to living room) did the bathroom conversion (Roll in shower, lower the vanity, can roll under counter, grab bars, toilet etc..) removed carpet and laminate floor ( took pad out under flooring so doesn’t “float” as much with weight of electric chair, was installed with pad first then taken up and put down on subfloor and much better. And still finding issues.

Electric stove has knobs at back and can’t reach the knobs, reaching faucet at kitchen counter. Redid and faucet now on side of sink instead of rear and can reach from chair. Can’t use oven with flip down door can’t get chair close enough to use, has microwave/convection oven on table in kitchen for that. Looking at wall mount oven with swing door instead of fold down door but haven’t found one yet. We are still finding issues with stuff she can’t do...

But doing ramp, bathroom and carpet / floor is realistically a week job....also depends where your located and closeness to Lowe’s/ Home Depot or other hardware / lumberyard supplier


my sons FIL is double leg amputee and barn slider doors or pocket sliding doors work good with wheelchair and were put in his house when was built, much better from a chair than swing doors
Old 12-18-2019, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by BLUESMAN View Post
For me, the tub - shower change would kill the weekend schedule.
Do you need to build a ramp for entry to the house?
yes, good call. Forgot about that in my list.
Old 12-18-2019, 07:37 AM
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For widening doorways, is there electrical in the way, as in light switches for either switched recepticle or overhead light, or is it old enough to not have any switched lighting...?

The reason I'm asking is that going from 28" standard (or whatever they are now) to 36" may require relocation of switches... which can be a time drainer if there's not enough wire to the existing box to just move it over.

Regardless of above, I think you're in for some 18 hour days and a lot of luck to pull it all off, but good luck...!!!

Where is the job located...? As mentioned earlier, perhaps some skilled THT craftsman are nearby and could lend a hand.
Old 12-18-2019, 07:39 AM
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Door installation made easy

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Express-...-201/202366685

Start on the bathroom first and complete it before you tackle anything else Incase you run out of time.

Sub out the carpet to vinyl installation.
Old 12-18-2019, 07:45 AM
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Not sure what your budget is but have your cousin pick up another guy. for $150.00 bucks a day will be worth it for someone to take out the garage, run to the store multiple times for needed supplies, get you lunch so you can keep working and do million other little things along the way.

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