15 November 2018
A questionnaire we sent out to existing customers who had implemented a substantial amount of bathroom adaptation work found that people often struggle in their bathroom for several years before having adaptation work done. The biggest reason for putting off the work was the financial cost involved.
But did you know that there is help, support and government schemes available when it comes to funding a bathroom adaption?
Don’t continue putting yourself or a loved one at risk because of the financial cost. Read on to find out about the government schemes and various grants for disabled bathrooms available to you.
The 0% VAT scheme in relation to home adaptations and alterations, principally easy access bathrooms, is available on a certain number of products including:-
In order to qualify for the 0% VAT exemption, a simple form must be filled out which includes details of any physical conditions or disabilities such as arthritis or stroke sufferers. No doctor’s notes are needed and no Occupational Therapist sign off / approval is required.
In our experience, most adaptations of this nature qualify for this scheme, which is a great saving for our customers, in fact on a typical £5,000 wet room conversion a VAT exempt customer could save themselves £1,000.
The second VAT scheme available is for 5% which is suitable for those over the age of 60, with regards to the supply and installation of the following:
In a typical bathroom installation of this kind we find that over two thirds of the job qualifies for this lower rate, which again can result in a great saving. On an average £5,000 walk-in bathroom conversion, a 5% VAT customer could save themselves £750.
Disabled VAT exemptions, both 5% and 0%, are also available for other home adaptations and alterations including door widening, downstairs WC for ease of use and access ramps.
A government backed scheme delivered through local councils, a disabled facilities grant provides funding to disabled homeowners with regards to adapting their home for ease of use, safety and risk management.
The scheme covers door widening and the building of ramps, improvement of access to rooms and facilities, for example the creation of a downstairs bathroom or shower room or the installation of a stair lift. Updates to existing, or installation of new, heating systems suitable for your needs and the alteration of heat and lighting controls to make them easier to use i.e. touch screen and pull cord.
Depending on your household income and savings you may be eligible to cover works up to the cost of £30,000 which will be approved by the council following an assessment of your needs, also known as a ‘means test’. To apply for a disability facilities grant you can contact your local council directly or visit the government website.
Although each council works slightly differently typically speaking, and following your application entry, it is likely your council may send an occupational therapist round to see you and check your circumstances, access your needs and see what changes you need before submitting a request for funding and work approval.
Again, subject to your specific council, if your application is successful the work will then be sent out to tender whereby a number of reputable companies that are on the councils list will contact you directly to arrange a survey visit so that they are able to price for the works and submit their quote to the council for selection. The council will then choose the successful contractor who will liaise with you, as the customer, and the council in order to get the adaptation works completed within a specified time scale.
Similar to a Disabled Facilities Grant your local council may operate by means of preferred schemes. Typically speaking these will follow the same process initially, whereby someone will come and access your needs before deciding whether you qualify for work, however they will then decide on the amount of money they are going to grant you for the works and you, as the customer, then go out and choose your own contractor; with a helping hand if required.
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.