What's Necessary when Remodelling or Designing a Home for those with Special Needs?

Posted by Justin Havre on Friday, April 10th, 2015 at 10:04am.

Home Construction

When you have a special needs person living in your home, it’s important to consider their needs when it comes to remodelling or designing a home. Since you are no longer worried about what will look great in a home but rather what will make life easier for everyone in your family, different considerations are take into account when designing a home for someone with special needs.

When you’re looking for safety, easy to function and efficiency for your special needs family member, consider these design ideas for your kitchen, bathroom, hallways, bedrooms and living rooms.

Living Room

The Living Room needs to contain sturdy furniture with arms that can help someone get up and down. Avoid glare by keeping lights at eye level or on dimmers and choose wood furniture rather than glass-top tables to allow for leaning.

Hallways and Stairways

Let your build know that you’re going to require wider hallways, doorway and stairways. If you design it for side-by-side walking or for someone with crutches, a wheelchair will surely be able to make it through. Have handles on the staircase for help with balance.


In the bedroom, be sure to organize closets and nightstands for easy access to medicine. Keep a small fridge in the room for someone that needs access to drinks easily.


The bathroom needs to be designed to have a handheld showerhead that can be manipulated with one hand and easy to reach. Have a bath seat and transfer bench in there. A phone in the bathroom is a good idea for emergencies like falls. For those sensitive to temperature, have a radiant heating on the floor and heated towel bars.


The kitchen needs to accommodate your special needs family members by featuring appliances that work side-by-side like your oven and fridge. You don’t want people to have to reach far back to turn something off and on. The garbage disposal is important to eliminate the amount of trash that goes out. Consider a trash compactor, as well.

Make sure you have room for a wheelchair or medical equipment for an eat-in kitchen and space under countertops for a person to work on their own. Granite-style is smart for a smooth, flat surface where things can slide. A lazy susan will be perfect for reaching in pantries and cupboards.

These are some helpful tips for remodelling or designing your home for special needs family members.

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