The kitchen is the heart of the home.
It’s a space where capability and independence are important, but that’s not always possible when you live with reduced mobility.
Kitchen adaptations can help create a comfortable room that enables everyone in the home to prepare meals, enjoy a cuppa or do their chores!
But what can influence the cost of kitchen adaptations? Let’s find out.
Why Kitchen Adaptations Matter
We tend to spend much time in our kitchens, cooking and nattering away.
Whether you’re a wheelchair user or have otherwise restricted mobility, accessing and using everything in a kitchen isn’t easy. Sinks can be too deep to reach into, worktops too high to use safely, and cupboards too difficult to reach the contents of. These limits make preparing food and eating it, or even making a well-deserved cup of tea, impossible and unsafe without assistance or a struggle.
Installing appropriate kitchen adaptations for the needs of the user;
Making the kitchen a stress-free environment through the addition of kitchen adaptations enables users to operate appliances and go about kitchen tasks easily and without requiring assistance.
This autonomy works wonders for both mental and physical well-being.
From tricky taps and scalding water to slippery floors and inaccessible supplies, there are many risks and hazards in our kitchens.
Installing adaptations like lever taps, adequate lighting, pull-down cupboard shelves and appliance location can all help to prevent pain and discomfort from overreaching and reduce the risks of trips and falls.
For someone with mobility issues to be able to continue living at home rather than in a hospital or other care facility, they need to be able to look after themselves. And that includes preparing and cooking food.
The cost of kitchen adaptations is always something to be aware of when you’re in the planning stages. But first, you need to work out what changes need making.
Assessing A Kitchen – What To Consider
When you’re planning on improving the accessibility of a kitchen, ask yourself these questions…
- Are the doorways of the kitchen wide enough for everyone in the house to manoeuvre?
- Does the height of the worktops make it difficult for the user to prepare food safely and comfortably?
- Are the appliances at an appropriate height for the user? Are they in a formation that makes travel around the kitchen smooth and uncomplicated?
- How much space is there in the room? Can the individual in question safely move around without the risk of knocking into or tripping over tables, chairs and appliances?
- Is the lighting sufficient?
- Does the flooring provide enough grip?
Answering these questions will give you a good idea of the adaptations needed.
But what impacts the cost of kitchen adaptations?
First on the list of factors influencing the cost of kitchen adaptations – structural changes.
Some kitchen layouts aren’t very accessible, so changing the bones of the kitchen may be necessary to make it usable.
Examples of structural changes include:
- The removal of walls to increase the size of the kitchen
- Widening doorways to enable wheelchair users easier manoeuvrability
- Layout changes that require alterations to wiring and plumbing
- The addition of a kitchen island to support tasks.
Materials & Fittings
Whether you’re opting for a whole kitchen refit or working with your existing one will impact the cost of kitchen adaptations in your property. Here are some things to take into account.
The price of worktops and counters is always a factor in any kitchen. You want something sturdy that will last, but your budget could be a barrier to choosing the most lavish option.
Laminate countertops are the cheapest, wood is mid-range and granite is the most costly.
If you’re swapping out an old sink for a new, shallower version to allow easier access, this will raise the expected cost of kitchen adaptations.
Replacing regular taps with lever taps is a cheap adaptation. For some people, adding a hot water tap can reduce the need for users to struggle with kettles or handle boiling pans of water, but it’s not always a suitable solution. If you’re unsure, an OT can give guidance, or we can discuss it with you.
When you’re adapting a kitchen, changing your appliances isn’t necessary. But some people like to go all in to get their perfect kitchen in one shot.
The most frequently updated appliance is the oven. Perhaps you might also raise it from floor level to prevent users from having to twist, bend and stretch in ways that are uncomfortable or painful. You might also introduce an induction hob instead of a gas flame to reduce the fire risk.
If you’re thinking of swapping out an old fridge or freezer for a new one, consider a French door-style model to give individuals a wide access point. Under-counter fridges and freezers provide more worktop space but may be tricky to access for certain people.
Another change that can be useful is to build the microwave into existing units. This way, it is more sturdy and accessible without taking up counter space.
Selecting the right contractor is an important factor in the cost of kitchen adaptations.
We’ve already discussed why you should opt for specialist home adaptation contractors over general builders in a previous blog, but choosing one that has specific experience adapting kitchens will have a direct impact on the price you pay.
A specialist contractor will have access to a better range of appliances and materials, potentially at a reduced cost, because of their connections in the field.
Because they are used to the requirements of adaptation projects, specialist home adaptation contractors can work quicker and with less disruption – without reducing work quality. Their work is also more likely to be snag-free since it’s what they do day in, day out.
The cost associated with bringing a specialist contractor on board can be more than opting for a general builder, but often, it’s not a great difference, and the benefits of specialist expertise far outweigh the negatives.
Planning Helps To Control The Cost Of Kitchen Adaptations
There’s a lot at play when you embark on home adaptations on any part of a property.
This blog has hopefully highlighted to you some of the areas to consider when you’re in the planning stages of kitchen adaptations. Thoughtful planning can help you see where your money will go and stick within a budget.
Found our guide to costs helpful but need further advice? We can help you with your specific needs, too. For all things home adaptation, see our website and find out how we can help.