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Removing the barriers & detailing the considerations to up and moving to the lower levels of the home as a result of mobility issues.

24 May 2017

Making the decision, or accepting the need / requirement, to move downstairs can be a daunting consideration however upon doing so will inevitably make life easier, safer and more enjoyable for you and your loved ones.

Typically, people are required to make the move to the lower levels of the home either due to age, illness or as a result of a disability. In any instance it is safe to presume that mobility has been affected and as such the stairs can no longer be managed meaning the bedroom and bathroom is out of bounds.

An immense obstacle to overcome there are ascending / descending mobility solutions available, in the form of stair lifts and through floor lifts that will facilitate the continued use of the upstairs, however for many they may not be suitable for themselves or the home and can be equally expensive.

With that in mind the only options left are to either move (to a bungalow or flat), convert or extend; each with their own pros, cons and considerations it is important to understand what the barriers are to ensure an outcome that best fits your wants, needs and requirements.

Moving

If the stairs have become a nigh impossible task then the consideration of moving to a completely different property altogether may be an option. Whether a bungalow or a ground floor flat this alternative is not a decision that is taken lightly due to the emotional attachment that is often involved. Whether it’s the familiarity, sense of belonging, memories or family orientated requirements making the decision to move rather than adapt and improve is by far the biggest consideration of them all.

Internal Room Conversion

An alternative, and perhaps the cheapest consideration of them all, is an internal room conversion. Although space may pose an issue the concept behind a room conversion is simply swapping the use of one room for another.

In theory a relatively straight forward project has its downsides which form an important part to the discussions when decided what’s best for you, your loved ones and your home.

Firstly, by proceeding with a room conversion you are in essence removing one, often social & functional room with it being on the lower levels of the home to replace with what is deemed as ‘private’ quarters in the form of a bedroom & en-suite.

In most situations this would only work in larger properties where perhaps there is a good sized study slightly away from the main activities of the home which can be easily swapped; however in our experience this solution is rarely achievable.

Garage Conversion

A practical solution, if feasible, due to it allowing the habitant to continue to be separate from the main house activities and therefore keeping the bathroom & en-suite adaption private. A garage conversion is not always easily achieved as it really depends on what the existing space is currently used for.

In our experience things like secure parking, additional storage, home gym, utility & laundry or a place for the kids to hang out with their friends; garages have multiple uses of which some can be brought into the home as a simple swap if going ahead with a conversion, but some that can’t or you don’t want to.

How practical is a garage conversion? This is the question you need to ask yourself and decide what to do with the current spaces requirements.

Extension

The easiest, most practical and most beneficial consideration to all is the creation of a small single storey extension; planning and funding permitted.

Not only will an extension undoubtedly add value to your home it will also facilitate a guest bedroom (as a result of the existing bedroom no longer being used) and will allow for the garage (if you have one) to be continued to be used as was.

The least disruptive of them all although an extension may deem your home as a construction site while works are ongoing you do have the luxury of being able to shut the new area off and continue to use your existing space with no upheaval hindrance to yourself or you’re loved ones.

Finally, completely creating a new space may also prove easier than converting an existing due to connected plumbing and waste requirements which often have an impact of design if they are not easily found or positioned.

Final thoughts.

In any instance whether a decision has been made to proceed with a room conversion, garage conversion or create a small storey extension the requirement of a professional building firm that specialise in adaption work is important to ensure all eventualities have been considered.

Removing the barriers to moving downstairs is the role of your contractor. They should be forthcoming and more than happy to help and advice with any questions, considerations or even reservations that you may have.

As well as the project at hand they may also suggest further adaptations depending on your personal wants, needs and requirements which can be included in the overall adaptations. Works like door widening, low mobility threshold doors and access / exit ramps are all important considerations which will help make your home accessible for today, tomorrow and years to come.


More Ability, part of the Passmore Group, is Yorkshires leading and most experienced bath & shower room specialist for all types of stylish, safe & practical and bespoke solutions. Offering a fully project managed design & installation service we pride ourselves on meeting individual wants, needs and aspirational requirements for both the public & private sector.

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