If you’re adjusting to life after suffering an injury or a health trauma that has left you wheelchair bound, adapting to your new environment takes work, but it should not be a chore. Your home will need spatial alterations for accessibility, and your garage is no exception. You’ll need to consider the space needed for adaptive cars, so organization and preparedness are crucial. Follow along and learn about an optimal garage design for all abilities.
Ensure Your Garage Door is in Working Order
Before tackling the interior of your garage, call an expert at a garage door company to come out and ensure your garage door is fully functional and that there are no upcoming issues. It can be frustrating when one of your entrances or exits is unavailable because the garage door simply won’t open. For more information about what to look for or who to call, check out this garage door blog. At A & H Garage Door services, we’re here to lend a hand to make your transition straightforward and uncomplicated.
Once your garage door and its components are addressed, you can work on the interior.
At the end of the ramp at the entryway of your home, a 5×5 slip-resistant flat space should be maintained for wheelchair maneuverability. The entrance at the doors should have a maximum of a half-inch threshold, so chairs have no issue getting into the home and a clearance of zero to two inches on the lever side for an easy reach. Also keep in mind, changing all the doorknobs to levers in the home may be helpful because anyone can open these, including those with limited mobility.
To make the entrance effortless, have a bench or small table to put items on to make opening the door easier and reduce any safety hazards.
Size of the Garage
With an adaptive car, the space required for the ramp and chair maneuverability increases. If you’re building a garage, you can specify the space needed. However, if you’re in an HOA where you can’t build or increase the size of your garage, or you don’t want to tackle this issue yet, what was once a two-car garage may only accommodate one. It’s important to maintain a space of two to six inches and up to three feet on the non-wheelchair side, to ensure passageways remain clear.
Garage Lighting and Electrical
It’s important to have the electrical switches 42 inches from the ground so that everyone can access them, especially those in a chair. In addition to electrical outlets, having the garage door opener and garage lights and proper, functional levels. All panels need to be accessible for a chair and should not have anything obstructing it from a five-foot diameter. Adding task lighting can be beneficial for everyone to help illuminate the space and avoid any potential accidents related to things falling off shelves or hazardous liquids on the garage floor.
Navigating your environment shouldn’t be a challenge, and accessibility and adaptation are key to modifying your garage to be more wheelchair-friendly. To make your garage fit all abilities, have your garage door routinely checked and maintained by a garage door company. You can also improve accessibility by addressing the entryways, making space or adding more room in your garage for chair maneuverability, and changing the lighting and electrical so everyone can reach it.