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Property and holiday accommodation with wheelchair access


One of the more recent bits of legislation in many areas is that rental properties need to be wheelchair accessible. It is understandable when you think of all the people who don’t have the ability to climb stairs or access some areas due to age or a physical disability. Unfortunately, many landlords didn’t take the time or consideration to make a few minor alterations to their properties so governments around the world had to step in and more or less ‘demand’ that such things as wheelchair ramps be available, especially when government funding of some sort is available. Here are a few tips for a DIY wheelchair ramp that doesn’t cost much but makes it so much easier for wheelchair-bound renters to access a rental property.

Begin with Any Permits Which May Be Needed

Before beginning any DIY project where you may be making alterations to the structure of a property, check with your local council to make sure you won’t need any permits. Most often you won’t unless you are installing electric to the ramp for lighting or changing the face of your home in any way. If you are not sure, ask first before incurring a fine!

Design, Plan and Order Materials

Once you’ve gotten the legalities out of the way, it’s time to begin designing, planning and ordering the materials and tools you’ll need to complete your DIY wheelchair ramp. Check out online sources of timber and also find inexpensive tools online at sites like My Tool Shed. It is always good to have a handsaw and a few power tools around anyway if you are going to be renting out properties because repairs will be needed more often than you might imagine now.

Find Step-by-Step Instructions Online 

There are a number of sites online that give you step-by-step instructions with diagrams on how to build and install a wheelchair ramp. One good site is Handyman in the United States and although you’ll need to convert any estimates in prices from the USD to the GBP, the instructions are there in full detail for you to follow. Most terms are the same but if you have a problem translating from US English to UK English, a quick Google will be your best friend and interpreter. Measurements may need to be converted as well, so keep that iPad handy.

Inspections Are a Plus

Once you’ve completed the ramp, it actually pays to hire a contractor to do a quick inspection of your work to make sure it will support the required amount of weight. You can’t simply calculate the average weight of a man or woman because the wheelchair can sometimes double the amount of stress that ramp needs to withstand. Bear in mind that a renter in a wheelchair already has mobility issues, so you don’t want them to be further injured from a fall due to inadequate planning and execution of your wheelchair ramp.
Even if you are not concerned with accessibility legislation in your area of the world, you still want to offer this type of amenity to prospective renters because it increases your chances of finding the right match for your property. Wheelchair ramps are one of the easiest additions you can make, if done right, so get out the tools and get started today. You’d be amazed at just how many people in this world are bound to a chair and your efforts will be making life so much better for those who can’t manage even a few small steps.