When you have a family member who uses a wheelchair, you'll need to perform a variety of tasks around the house with this person in mind. For example, you might install a stairlift that will allow the individual to safely and easily travel between floors. When you're thinking about future building projects, including the addition of a deck, accessibility should continue to be in your mind. As you discuss your deck project with a local contractor, make sure to tell him or her about your family member's use of a wheelchair. You may wish to include these elements in your deck design.
Decks often have steps in multiple locations. For example, you might step down from your house onto your deck, and there might also be steps that run from the deck to your yard. To make this structure accessible to your loved one who uses a wheelchair, ramps will be a better choice than steps. A short ramp that connects your home and the deck is crucial, while you'll also want to consider a ramp that provides an easy way to travel between the deck and your yard. Depending on the deck's height, the ramp may need to zig-zag once or twice to ensure that it isn't too steep.
There are several factors that will influence the square footage of your deck. Your budget, the size of your yard, and how you plan to use the deck will all be things to consider. It's also important to keep your family member who uses a wheelchair in mind. Those who use wheelchairs can generally benefit from a little more space in which to move. A deck that is small may make it difficult for your loved one to turn around or navigate between chairs, tables, and other furniture. It never hurts to increase your deck's square footage to make it feel less cramped.
Some people like the look of railings around their decks, while others prefer more of an open design. If you have a family member who uses a wheelchair, you'll definitely want to have railings around the perimeter of your deck. This addition is instrumental to safety, as it prevents the individual from accidentally rolling off the deck's edge. Your contractor can show you a wide range of railing styles so that you can choose something that appeals to you. Your contractor may bring up other accessible-friendly ideas to incorporate into your new deck's design.
If you're considering a wheelchair friendly deck, talk to a contractor today to help you get started.