Making Your Vacation Property Handicapped Accessible

If you have reduced mobility, you’ve likely made some adjustments to your primary residence so that it’s more accessible and better meets your mobility needs. But if you have a secondary residence or vacation home, it’s important to adapt that property to meet your accessibility needs as well. How can you do this, and what are the benefits of doing so? Keep reading to find out.

Why Make It Accessible?

Making accessibility changes to your own home easily makes sense for most people. After all, you spend most of your year in that property, and you want to be comfortable and independent in your space. But vacation homes are less of a priority. If you’re only there for a month or 2 out of the year, do you really need that accessibility, or can you do without for a short time? And what about the rest of the year? If you rent out that property, will making improvements for your mobility make it less profitable as a rental?

These are important things to consider, but in reality, mobility upgrades could make your property more desirable, especially for others who may have limited mobility. Unfortunately, a great deal of vacation rental properties out there simply aren’t accessible. If you improve your own rental, you’ll be on a shortlist of desirable rentals for those who need these features. And, of course, you’ll make your own time in the property more enjoyable because you’ll be able to move about the home more independently.

What Upgrades to Make

When making accessibility improvements to a vacation rental, it’s important to think beyond your own needs. As much as possible, you should try to improve the property to also meet the needs of those who are less mobile than you. This will open up the property to more potential customers who need accessibility features. Some things to consider include the following:

  • Accessible parking
  • Flat path to the entrance
  • Walk-in tub with handheld showerhead
  • Roll-in shower stall
  • Grab bars near showers and toilets
  • Step-free access to all areas
  • Accessible-height toilets, beds, and chairs
  • Wide clearance in all rooms

The more of these features you can include, the more you’ll appeal to clients with reduced mobility.

Keeping Options Open

If you worry about these upgrades deterring ambulatory guests from renting your property, you typically don’t need to. Having a grab bar near the toilet or a step-free entryway isn’t a negative thing to many individuals. However, it is important to try to make sure the property has options for individuals of all mobility levels. For example, instead of just installing a walk-in tub, install a walk-in tub-shower combo or ensure that a shower stall is still available so that those who don’t need the accessibility features of a walk-in tub can still shower as needed.