Perhaps you have already done this, but my suggestion would be to find a
local hospital and find who on their staff, possibly a rehabilitation
tech or a social worker, who has some knowledge of adaptive housing.
They may advise you themselves, or possibly refer you to some
organization that had knowledge in this area. I suggest you do this
because they may have knowledge of the types of techniques and equipment
needed in your situation, and of what contractors have experience in
this area. For example, I'm wondering if there is some kind of combined
shower/sink that could save you some valuable maneuvering space in a
small bathroom. I rebuilt a bathroom (non-handicapped) and the
contractor was able to handle the whole package without an architect.
I agree with the others; you need to find a contractor who's familiar
with WC accessibility rather than spending your money on an
architect. You can get a lot of ideas/info on message boards from WC
user sites such as:
54 s.f with an existing *standard* tub, huh?
I'll presume this is a typical 5' x 10'-8" bathroom.
It ain't gonna happen, not enough room to maneuver the wheelchair.
I did a residential handicap bathroom recently that had a 5'x5' floor
level shower that the dood could wheel right into.
Get your tape measure out, measure your chair, measure how much room
you need to turn around then measure the existing bathroom.
Your trying to get 50# of stuff in a 10# bag.
BTW: An architect will rape your wallet on this sort of thing.
A remodeling contractor can do all of this if you are intent on going
ahead with it.
Thats similar to what he has. I gather enlarging the room isnt viable.
He'll need a 36 inch at least wide path clear to the toilet and either be
able to swing around from front of it (one type of rails works for that but
he'll need the arm strenght to be able to safely do that). He'll probably
be happier if he can side up to it. Thats where the sink probably comes in.
Has to take out the cabinet and do either a very thin one (12 inch depth)
with small sink, or pedistal design. I think the units that attach straight
to the wall will be more functional for him as he can have it mounted to
preferred height and be able to wheel under it nicely.
I think if the shower is right at the entry, sink along the way, and toilet
is on far end, with an open cul-de-sac by it and rails, then it will work.
Alternative is shower at far end, sink along one wall, and toilet near entry
with enough space to wheel around it, and turnaround at shower end.
A few posters mentioned pedestal sinks, they won't work for a
wheelchair user because the footplates will hit the pedestal before
you can get near it to wash, or whatever. The sink (as well as
stoves) have to be suspended so the user can wheel under it without
footplates and armrests hitting anything.
I don't have the arm strength to use hand rails any more and exercise won't
strengthen the arms. There is no window in the bedroom. The bathroom is
approximately 9' by 6'. There are numbers written down all over the place
in here and I will put the exact numbers in a file on this machine in the
next day or so.
The left side of the bathroom door is about 4" to the right of the wall. As
you look into the bathroom you are looking at a 9' wall.
The current layout is, as you look into the bathroom, from left to right on
the 9' wall:
1) the wall-mounted slightly oval sink has a counter on both sides. The
left edge of the
counter is about 5 " wide and abuts a load-bearing wall that we will not
touch. Even if it isn't load-bearing, tearing into it
is cost-probitive. I need counter space on the left for my razor tooth
brush and so on.
2) Under the sink is a vanity that will be removed so I can wheel underneath
3) The counter on the right side of the sink is about 7 inches wide. To the
right is the toilet. Over the tank is a 5" deep extension of the sink
counter top. The counter top is one contiguous piece. We expect that
over-the-tank extension to go. I expect that we'll keep the toilet and
raise it from the bottom with some material that has a hole in it for the
pipe. The floor to seat distance must be 20". ADA takes, pardon the
expression, a back seat to me on that one.
4) On the wall behind the sink is a huge mirror which will be replaced with
two surface-mounted, mirrored medicine cabinets. Surface-mounted because
that's a common wall and the less digging we do the better. Mirrored to
make the room brighter.
5) To the right of the toilet is the tub. It's about 33" wide and I'm told
it's a standard-sized tub. The tiled wall at the head of the tub, the end
furthest from the faucet, goes about three feet down from the ceiling. The
tiled wall then extends out toward the faucet end of the tub about 5 inches
and then goes straight down to the back of the tub. This puts the back of
the tub to the immediate right of the bathroom door.
6) The tile around the tub will be pulled of the wall and a shower pan will
be installed. The laminated sides will extend to the ceiling. The Tub Cove
guy, http://www.tubcove.com /, said the laminate and adhesives will be
Wilsonart or something similar. Here's the WilsonArt web site:
http://www.wilsonart.com/ The drain can stay where it is. The faucet
handle is now a ball that we turn right or left and push up or down for heat
and pressure, respectively. That ball will be replaced with a handle that
will be easier to hold and will do the same thing .
7) As I am wheeled in, the chair will be turned and I will be pushed into
the shower. The shower pan will have a "lip" on its left side to hold back
the water. I'll be pushed over that lip up either a slightly sloped floor or
a small moveable ramp. Then I'll be turned around to face the faucet.
Brakes locked and a pair of small blocks or something, if need be, can be
placed in front of the wheels to further hold the chair in place. I'll hose
myself down with the shower nozzle and return it to whoever's with me. That
person can then point the spray to the drain and the backup of water will be
nil. I lather up, get the hose, rinse, hand the hose back, and then the
hose will be turned off. The shower will have, as it does now, a large
heavy-duty cloth curtain hanging down to the ground. There shouldn't be
much leakage at all given the lip and the process described in this item 7.
8) I will dry off as much as I can and be wheeled into the bedroom. I'll
then be moved to the bed, dress, and go to bed or, be plopped into an
electric wheelchair until the end of the day.
9) Then I'll post a progress report on these two newsgroups. God, I hate
Understood. I am not prying into your personal business there but the design
needs some details such as that. I take it that fronting to the toilet will
not work and you need side-by-side sort of rails.
You will need at least 36 inches clear on whichever side of the toilet works
best for you and your arm cabability. Not knowing your details of strength,
I can hazard a guess from here that you use a chair which works with a 36
inch clearance and is probably a smaller size than that. Can you tell me
how many inches wide your chair is? Not just the seat, but widest part at
the wheels. Note: not electric chairs I know of will last in a shower. A
spare cheaper 'slip on' sorta like changing your shoes will work better for
this shower portion. ;-)
Can I presume 'bedroom' here was a typo with automatic software core4cting
it and wrong word used to replace it?
Approximations are ok here for our use. Details to the inch are for the
contractors you select.
Ok, so it's wider than was previously assumed and the door is at a wall that
is about 9 feet across then you have a 6 foot depth as you roll from the
door to the opposite wall? Entry door is at one extreme end of the room at
4 inches from the wall which rolling forward would be about 6 feet before
you stub your toes on the next wall ahead of you?
Ok, so you roll in, and are at the right side of the room. Stop at the
doorway and see this before you:
This is too your left. You'd roll left away from the door to get there.
Yes, do this. Since you also want a bit of counterspace, look at wall mount
sinks or ones with legs that are 36 inches apart so you can roll between
them. This will need to be thinline so it is mostly not sticking out much.
One with legs (just 2 front ones) spaced far enough apart for the wheelchair
to roll under it, might work best for you. This will be sturdy incase you
want to lean on it a bit. The hight of the sink will be what suits you best
in the wheelchair. Totally adaptable. Less cost to install if that spot
doesnt hit studs just right to hold a wall mount unit.
Ok, so the sink is next to the toilet and you'd roll left to get to either?
The sink is almost conjoined to the toilet. You need 36 inches at least on
the other side of the toilet away from the sink. At this stage, we may have
run out of room? That wall is only 6ft long. Toilet (about 20 inches) plus
36 beside it, leave no room for sink on same wall. Hehehe got you on the
height. You do not have to install ADA level at home if it doesnt suit.
One thing you *may* want to add later is the tank top simple sink. No
special plumming required and might sometimes come in handy. Make sure the
put the faucet on the correct side so it's out of your way and you an reach
the water easy.
This is now the back wall from the door straight across from it? The
directions have me confused but am trying to help. It may be opposite the
sink and toilet which means you have a narrow depth now. If it's on the far
wall from the door which you seem to say is 9ft, it has lots of room.
If I misunderstood the design, please help me out with it. You panned left
to right but didnt mention when you changed walls.
You could relocate the sink fairly cheaply to be alongside the 9ft wall with
the roll in shower if I have the design right. Gnerically, you can relocate
water supply lines without too much expense, but the drains may not be as
BTW, this one is easy. Cut a strip off a rubber bathmat with those sucker
things on the bottom, about 2 suckers and fix it to the floor at the point
you dont want to roll past. Can be cleaned pretty easy or just replaced
with another strip.
Oh my own experience? Spent much of 3 years as a kid in a wheelchair due to
a foot injury and a hellion so they had to strap my little ass in a
wheelchair to let the multple food surgerys heal. (Mom had to call 911 once
to have the firemen figure out how to get me out of a tree I climbed,
wheelchair and all). Worked as a volunteer for several years assisting
folks with ADA law and how to adapt places including help building
accomodations vice just talking about them.
Your space *is* minimal for perfection but 9x6 foot can be worked alot
easier than 5x10.
I'll be using a commode chair, strictly manual, in the shower.
No, I'm on the left side of the room as I roll in forward and have made no
turns. I'm sitting in the doorway facing straight ahead & looking at a wall
that is approximately 9 ft wide. If I move straight ahead, without turning,
I will bump into the sink. Once the vanity is gone, my knees will fit under
the sink & I should be OK.
Here's a drawing http://www.geocities.com/haroldshamster/index.html . I
would have put it up sooner, but couldn't get the code to work until just
now. This page should show the layout.
While alone, I'll be in a small electric chair and will be able to use only
the sink. When my wife or an aide is here that person will help me to and
from the pot. For showers I will be placed in a manual commode chair and
pushed into the tub so that I will be facing the faucet. I'll shower, dry
off, and be pushed or pulled back into the bedroom. Then I'll get onto the
bed, finish dressing and whatever.. sleep or get up.
I'm going to wheelchair and medical supply stores next week to get the
dimensions of the available equipment. I can also get some equipment from
the Muscular Dystrophy Association even though I don't have MD.
No. To get to the sink as I enter the room I will not have to make any
turns. The sink is straight ahead. See the drawing.
What's a tank top simple sink?
This is the best drawing that I can make.
Cool, the picture helped a great deal. Please bear with my slow replies. I
work really wierd hours.
Thank you for recognizing that. Each piece I've asked is specific to a
need. Cant give advice on how to fix it without that. Its the same stuff
any contractor will need to know. They however have the advantage of seeing
you and may not have needed to ask some aspects. I have only what you type.
Next question, based on the pics, can you tell me if you have at least 42
inches from the toilet edge and the sink pipes? This makes the work
cheaper. The sink houever is the least expensive item to 'seege over'
towards the wall by just shifting the pipes a little. Moving the toilet or
the shower drain cost alot. This is due to the piping and traps used.
If your picture is 'somewhat to scale' it looks like you have a large vanity
with an extension across the toilet tank.
This is the best design possible for what you need. Probably the easiest
one to work with.
;-) Understood. Can you manage side access to the toilet on your own? I
know you have little arm strongness which will not improve. Designed right,
if you have an electric chair that stands up and have some limited leg use
enough to stand and rails to use, you might be able to get on the toilet
unassisted. Getting back off though might not be so very easy. Your
comment on 'push/pulled' to the bedroom makes this unlikely but worth
Forgive if i am wrong, but this I think involves the chair raising you, and
a front access and rails on both sides of the toilet and the ability to
'turn around' then lower down. If not able to raise back up and turn
around, useless to you information. Side shuffle (no rail at entrance side)
is easier on a caretaker regardless of lifting chair or not.
Useful folks. Lots of information.
The only thing you need, is a wall mount sink with enough 'lip' to set your
various things on and may want to move the sink as far over to the corner as
possible. Very simple PVC or other piping can be used to move it over
without changing where the pipes come out from the wall now. This will
create the space it seems you lack beside the toilet to make for easier use
of the toilet.
If you want to be able to 'lean on the sink' then you need the type that has
just spindle legs under the front and spaced wide enough apart to accomodate
rolling under it between them. Otherwise, it will come down as not strong
enough. This does not however have to be 'deep'. It can easily be built to
be 18 inches with a smaller sink set in it and a 42 inch spread between the
legs. At that stage though you hit competing requirements of side toilet
access, and sink legs.
If leaning on the sink isnt essential to you, wall mount a simple shelf for
your 'stuff' along that wall used for clearance to the toilet and keep to a
thinline sink (12 inch or less wall mount with no visible support and no
legs for you to mess with). At 12 inches, you should be able to reach over
and grab stuff off a shelf ok since you'd be pretty much just reaching not
even quite past your knees? Acceptable enough?
A Japan thing to me but seen stateside in some places. It fits over the
toilet tank top (replacing it really) and is a small sink. I think with
this later info, not at all useful to you. The inlet of fresh drinkable
water runs to it then down into the tank to refill it. Some just turn on
when you flush the toilet, and drain down, others have a separate valve you
turn on to use (even hot and cold) and drain to the flushing tank. Because
it would be sitting behind you when on the toilet, not useful to you.
If you want the space "designed" call an Architect or an Interior Designer.
The fees can not be based on sq. ft. in smaller spaces as they are harder to
design or work out. Can't charge enough really. If you want a face life call
a remodeler and you will get a normal rational result. Call an Interior
Designer and you will get best of both worlds. Any one you choose should be
well versed in renovation and/or existing structures; a total different bear
then new construction. Also, some bath renovation/remodel are a few thousand
to do the whole project and others like in my neck of the woods are more the
sky the limit! Bathroom showrooms may have a designer on staff and will
charge less for the design work and roll the design fees into the overall
project/construction and material purchased.
I'm from NJ and fees are anywhere from 8% to 12% of new construction plus
admin. and expenses. Or $800 to $1,200 plus say for a 6 x 8 foot or 8 by 10
foot with linen closet. If you are selecting standard "Home Depot" materials
in a hall bathroom you will be at the lower end of the slide, but if you are
top of the line for a master bath, this requires a lot more thought and
design so you will be at the higher end.
Remember each case is different, so ask what the fees are based on.
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