Climbing steps is an impossibility for many. One solution is to make sure that everything your folks need is on the main level.
Q: We are on a budget. Should I choose the contractor with the cheapest estimate?
A: If you are shopping for the cheapest price, there is nothing I can say to help you choose a good contractor. Anyone can finagle a bid to come in at the lowest price. This can be very costly to the homeowner. A lowest bidder may be low because he has left something out of the bid or he is new to the industry and underestimates the cost of doing business. He will need to add change orders to compensate for what he forgot on the estimate or he may run out of money before the job is complete.
Once you have found a contractor that you can trust based on the guidelines above, ask them for an estimate without telling them your budget. Calculating an accurate bid for a project takes lots of time.
If access to the second floor is essential, there are automated chair lifts that will take your loved one up the stairs on the inside of your home ($1,800-$3,500).
If there are steps leading into the house, it may be necessary to build a ramp. To keep the ramp from becoming too steep the ramp length should be at least 22 feet long for one step, 34 feet for two steps and 51 feet for three steps, according to the Certified Living in Place Institute.
Thresholds can make getting in the house with a wheelchair or walker quite difficult. Portable ramps offer a great solution. They should have a high traction surface and be able to handle hundreds of pounds ($450-$900).
In many homes, doorways can be