When a home needs to become more accessible, sometimes the problems we’re resolving could be structural. While accessibility relies on careful planning and design to create an inclusive environment, homes continue to be built without following universal design principles and AODA guidelines.
Structural renovations can be key to helping clients with accessibility needs. How do they factor into our work?
What Are Structural Renovations?
Structural renovations involve fixing, changing, removing, or adding load-bearing parts in the home. “Load-bearing” could refer to any structural element that takes on weight or pressure, including posts, beams, columns, walls and foundation.
Load-bearing elements are necessary for keeping a home safe. Designers and builders use these elements to carry the weight of the structure and its contents. A furnished second floor will add more weight than an empty one. They can also bear the added weight of exterior forces; the walls and roof have to withstand heavy snowfalls and winds, and the foundation must be able to tolerate seasonal changes in soil pressure.
All this is to say that structural renovations can be tricky. A wrong choice could make a home unsafe. But how can these kinds of remodels help with accessibility needs?
How Can Structural Renovations Help With Accessibility?
Typically, homeowners seek improvements that will make their homes more spacious, sensible, and visibly appealing. But structural renovations can make a home easier to navigate for those with mobility issues. When you’re in a house that wasn’t designed and built for equipment like wheelchairs – and most buildings from the ’40s through the ’90s were not – a structural renovation can take the home into the modern world.
When it comes to accessibility renovations, removing walls to enlarge rooms is a regular task. It can open living spaces for better movement and make them amenable to mobility equipment like wheelchairs and walkers. Fewer walls mean fewer obstacles for those with mobility limitations. However, if they’re load-bearing walls, we have to replace them with other strong pieces, such as hidden beams, to support the weight.
When builders embed accessibility into their designs, the costs are lower and the benefits are more sustainable. Clients will still see a strong return on their investment for necessary structural renovations, so long as these are performed by a qualified contractor.
Trust An Accessibility Contractor For Your Structural Renovation Needs
When accessibility contractors perform your renovations, any structural changes will not just be user-friendly but also attractive and comfortable. Experts also have an eye for proper layouts – any structural renovations should work with the home’s plan and match the house’s theme.
As mentioned, structural renovations are serious business. They affect the overall safety of a home. When a contractor ignores the fact that the components they are removing are load-bearing parts, accessibility renovations can turn into expensive, dangerous disasters. Call the professionals at In-Trend Home Solutions to make sure you can trust your structural renovations!