Every homeowner or renter has different requirements, but none are more specific or crucial than those needed for a property with disabled residents.
There is a wide array of different solutions to help people with disabilities get the most out of their homes, but it is important to tailor each home correctly. There is no catch-all solution to create an optimised environment for every disabled homeowner or tenant, so research, expertise, empathy and good old-fashioned understanding are vital for house builders and developers looking to work in this market.
At Bryburn we design and build safe and functional properties for vulnerable individuals designed to enhance their living environment and improve their quality of life.
Below are just a few of the things we believe are vital when building or adapting specialist properties for people with disabilities.
Empathy and experience
Disabilities come in a wide variety of forms and understanding the needs and issues each can bring when planning a build or adaptation is extremely important. Our approved and experienced builders understand the variety of challenges those with disabilities can have and will tailor an approach to each build situation to meet their individual needs.
It is also vital for us to be ever mindful that in some instances we are dealing with people who are no longer able to manage their own affairs and welfare, so we always make sure to respond to our clients immediately and communicate openly and regularly with them, their families and carers.
Prepare for new technology
We have over 30 years of experience in the construction industry but as with any large business sector there is a constant influx of new technology. Whether it is the latest in accessibility tech or new top of the line supportive equipment, keeping up with the latest technologies and systems means we can deliver clients the best possible lifestyle in their own home.
Tried and tested methods are also important to successful builds and conversions, but we go out of our way to understand and consider new technologies to see if they can offer an even better alternative.
Being mindful of budgets
Building or converting any property can be very costly to the client but doing so to fit the needs of a severely disabled person can be even more so. Although we are a business, we are always conscious of our client’s budgets and will do everything in our power to keep the build within them without sacrificing features and quality.
One way we have helped clients keep within their budget in the past is by providing our advice and expertise on VAT relief applicable under VAT Notice 701/7, which means that goods required for building work for disabled people accrue zero VAT payable by them. This advice, along with exploring value engineering options designed to reduce the capital cost, whilst still maintaining the all-important quality and functionality of the property, meant we were able to deliver a quality project that was ahead of programme, within budget and exceeded all our client’s expectations.
Consider carers too
When funds are limited, essential adaptations to make homes safe, comfortable and practical for people with disabilities must come first, which means that often the needs of the carers can become secondary, even when they are the ones making important decisions and providing essential care. It is so important for carers to live in an environment that also meets their own needs so that they can have the motivation and energy to provide the best care for their dependents they possibly can.
Statistically 1 in 10 people in the UK act as unpaid carers, typically caring for a close friend of family member and around 1.25 million work over 50 hours a week providing unpaid care. So, whether it is something simple like keeping some worktops at standard height in a home designed for a wheelchair user (to prevent the carer from constantly stooping), or a larger issue like installing hoists or a stairlift to reduce the physical strain of having to lift or carry the patient, carers’ needs must be met as part of adapting the family home.
Get in touch
We work on disability solutions projects of every size, from minor alterations to make an existing home more accessible, to the design and construction of brand new specialised residential accommodation. Our experience covers the full range of building and maintenance work, including but not limited to:
• Installing equipment and specialist adaptations
• Extensions and loft conversions
• External adaptations
• Internal conversions and renovations
• New build and redevelopment work
• Project management
• Sourcing a site or property
• Feasibility studies
• Comprehensive design and planning service
• Acquiring planning permission
• Advice of the application of VAT Notice 701/17 and VAT relief
• Liaising with Court of Protection case officers
If you need help with any of the above or have any questions on disability solutions adaptation and construction, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Tel: 02392 893191 or 02392 893193