When a person has a physical disability, it doesn’t mean that living independently is impossible. When a home, and especially the kitchen is custom modified, it makes physical restrictions easier to manage. When thinking about remodeling a kitchen with a custom design, the balance has to be between what the requirements need to be for the storage, appliance and counters. Everything has to be within reach and considering those requirements needed to be accounted for. Below are several things to take into account when custom design cabinets, sinks, and counters:
- Custom kitchen counters: A typical kitchen counter is at a height of 36” for a special needs kitchen the counter should be at a 34” height. Work space needs to be 30” wide and countertops need to be from 28” to 36” in height. Plus, adjustable counters are to be within a range of 28” to 36”. In addition, to allow for knee and toe clearance, be sure the countertop is not closed in with the cabinet base.
- Kitchen sink: When planning the custom kitchen sink, it needs to have space under it to allow access for a wheelchair or a walker. Clearance for knees at a sink needs to be at least 27 inches high and 8 inches deep. For children, it needs to be 11 inches deep. Also, faucets can be a single level which makes control easier or touch control which will allow the person to turn it off and on with a touch.
- Appliances: Appliances need to installed at a lower height at about 31 inches from floor. However, raise the dishwasher about 6 to 8 inches off the floor so accessibility can be from either side. By installing a side hinged oven door which opens to the side lets a seated cook get to the opening easier. Too, with the freezer on the bottom of the refrigerator, the freezer is easier to reach.
One last thing is to be sure that the doorway is at least 36 inches for easier passageway.
As you can see, an accessible kitchen is easier than you think.