If you want to buy a new home and your spouse is in a wheelchair, it can make it more difficult. They need to be independent as much as they can, and you can help them do this taking things into consideration. Two of these things are the doors and windows. Keep reading so you can make sure your new home is comfortable and safe for your spouse.
Take a walk through the home you are considering purchasing. Open and close the doors to see if they open easily or if they stick, making them much harder to open. Look at the width of each door to see if your spouse could get through them with their wheelchair. Look at every opening that leads into each space in your home.
All doors in the home must have a width of 32 inches from the face of the door to the opposite stop. If the doors in the home are at least 30 inches, you may be able to use offset door hinges to widen them two inches.
You also have to make sure the doors do not pose with the direction and location of how the doors open and close. For example, if the door leads to a hallway, take into consideration how wide the hallway is and how easy it would be for your spouse to maneuver their wheelchair at different angles.
Check all exterior doors to make sure they are not warped. If they are, it would be difficult to lock and open the door. The locks on the doors should be easy to reach for your spouse. They should have no problem locking and unlocking the door. This is something you can take care of on your own, however, as you could replace the door hardware.
There may be times when your spouse would need to lock or unlock a window. Because of this, they need to be able to reach the locks. The windows should not stick, making it harder to open and close them. Ask your spouse to sit by each window to see if the window sill is too high for them.
If your windows are hard to open and close and they are too high for your spouse, call a windows contractor to replace your windows for you. Horizontal slider windows have one or both sides that slide on a track making them easy to open. You may want to consider casement windows, as they open with a crank handle.
For more information, contact Fischer Window and Door Store or a similar company.