Considering full home adaptations? Adapting an entire home is a big job and can seem like a daunting project. Especially if you plan to do it all at once. 

What adaptations should you consider for each room? How long will it take? And what’s the process for large-scale construction?

Read on to find out.

Making A Home Accessible: Where Do You Start?

Once you’ve had an assessment with your occupational therapist, you’ll know what adaptations need to be made to improve your independence and make your everyday life easier to navigate.

You can apply to your local council for funding for some of your full home adaptations, and others are VAT exempt. You can also add in additional adaptations if you feel they’ll help meet your needs, but they will need to be funded privately. Read up on financial help for home adaptations in our helpful blog ‘Funding For Adaptations: Everything You Need To Know’.  

The adaptations you’ll be making will reflect the needs of whomever they’re for, so the scope is huge. To give you an indication of what to expect from a full home adaptation, let’s look at the house, room by room, and discuss the possible changes that can be made in each space. 

Adaptations (3)


Adapting The Bathroom

The bathroom is often the first room to be made accessible, and it’s a space where people living with reduced mobility can struggle most. From slippery surfaces to the range of movement required for washing and toileting, bathrooms present plenty of challenges, but there are many ways they can be altered to improve user experience. 

Walk-In Showers And Baths

Getting into raised showers or stepping over the side of a bath and lowering down into the water can present trip hazards and hefty discomfort for many people with limited mobility. Walk-in showers and baths are floor level and 100% waterproof, meaning your bathroom won’t experience water damage but still make bathing safer and easier. They are easy to use for wheelchair users and can include grab rails, fold-up chairs and specialist shower screens for optimum accessibility. 

Wet Room

Taking level-access showering to the next level, wet rooms feature a completely open shower, and the whole floor is the same non-slip, waterproof material. The whole floor area is tilted ever so slightly towards a drain outlet to make sure the risk of pooling water is eliminated.

Wall-Hung Sink

Standard basins, whether sat on a porcelain pedestal or atop a bathroom cabinet, often aren’t user-friendly for those with reduced movement. Wall-hung sinks can be hung at the perfect height for the user, and provide ample space underneath for wheelchair users to wheel their legs into.

Grab Rails

Grab rails are an important accessibility aid because they give people the opportunity to access extra support if needed. Therefore they after play a part in a full home adaptation plan. In bathrooms, grab rails are often positioned next to the toilet, within the showering area and in any other spaces recommended by your OT.

Shower Seat

Not everyone can stand for long periods, or at all. Shower seats provide a resting place for users who find it difficult to do so, making sure they remain safe and steady throughout the showering experience. 

Non-Slip Floors

All wetrooms make use of non-slip flooring to make sure that even a moisture-laden floor is safe to walk on, but non-slip flooring can be used in any bathroom to provide that extra level of grip.

Sensor Taps

Sensor technology is becoming more popular in standard bathrooms because it is smart and hygienic. Sensor taps also involve much less user dexterity, so they are ideal for an accessible bathroom because the user doesn’t need to manually turn anything to get the water running. 

Contrasting Colours

Looks can matter! For older people and those living with dementia, highlighting important areas of a bathroom with contrasting colours can help them navigate their way around the space. So make sure the toilet seat, grab rails, and any doorframes stand out. 

Accessible Shower Screens And Curtains

Accessible shower screens, which can come with half-height panels and plenty of hinged faces, are one option for adapted bathrooms. You can also source portable screens if a permanent screen isn’t necessary. However, adapted shower curtains are your best bet for keeping the user safe. Read more in our recent blog.

Adjustable Height Toilet

The range of movement necessary for using a standard loo can cause heavy discomfort and pain for people with limited mobility. Installing a toilet that can be adjusted to suit the user’s needs, eliminating the need for them to lower themselves beyond the point of comfort, can give them much more independence in the bathroom. Click this link to read more about the benefits it brings.

Washer-Dryer Toilets

Washer-dryer toilets make for paperless toileting, which can make the whole experience easier and much more hygienic for plenty of people living with reduced mobility. We’ve covered both the Closomat Lima Vita and the Geberit AquaClean Mera Care toilets in previous blogs, so check those out for the lowdown on accessible loos. 

How Long Does It Take To Adapt A Bathroom?

A fully fitted accessible bathroom can take around a week to complete, depending on the size of your bathroom. Smaller adaptations, like a change to the sink or toilet, can be completed in just one day.

Adapting The Bedroom

The bedroom is a key area to consider when you’re thinking about a full home adaptation because it’s a sanctuary away from the bustle of daily life. 

Here are some changes to consider.

Wider Doorways

Making doorways easier to get through by widening them is a change that can be made throughout the whole home.

Bed Position

Making sure there is plenty of space around each side of the bed, and between all furniture and doorways, means an individual can easily get in and out of bed and use the room efficiently. 

Bed Height

If the intended user sits in a wheelchair, the mattress needs to be at the same height as the wheelchair cushion to make moving from one to the other and back again an easy feat. Even without a wheelchair, a higher bed can be much simpler to get into and back out of for many people.


If moving from a wheelchair into bed, or vice versa, is tricky or painful, hoists can be used to help. There are a variety of different types, including ceiling and wall-mounted hoists, as well as portable hoists.

Window Coverings

Where dexterity is a problem, motorised blinds, curtains and shutters come into their own. Not only are they operable remotely, meaning the user can remain in bed, but you can preset settings to automate them, taking the stress out of reaching and twisting for regular window dressings.

How Long Does It Take To Adapt A Bedroom?

Of the changes we’ve listed above, widening doorways will take the most time, but not more than a day. Window coverings can be replaced extremely quickly, and hoists installed without a problem in most bedrooms. 


Adapting The Stairs

Accessing the top floor of a home needs to be as safe as possible, but a Stannah stairlift isn’t your only option.


Stairlifts transport users up and downstairs along a rail. This rail can be fitted to the wall or the stair treads, depending on the width of the staircase. We’ve written a blog with everything you need to know about stairlifts here.

Through-Floor Lift

Through-floor lifts work in the same way as the lifts you find in IKEA, but they are much smaller and can take a single user rather than a group of people with trolleys. This type of lift can work for people who don’t have the right sort of space for a stairlift. Read more about through-floor lifts here. 


Double Handrails

Handrails are often much longer than the grab rails we’ve already mentioned. For stair-climbing safety, double handrails can be installed – running the whole length of both sides of the staircase – to provide the utmost support for users ascending or descending the stairs. 

Floor Surface

Thinking about flooring can be useful in all areas of a fully adapted house. And the stairs are no different. Wood and tile, despite being stylish, can be extremely slippery. Carpet is a much safer option because it provides a bit of feedback and grip. 

Colours And Lighting
Using stand-out colours to distinguish between the risers and the steps of the staircase can help  users with reduced vision to navigate getting up or downstairs. LED lighting strips can also be inlaid along the length of the staircase, or even under each step, for extra visual help. 

How Long Does It Take To Adapt A Staircase?

Minor changes like flooring, handrails and lighting will only take a few hours to complete. Installing a stairlift for a straight staircase can take up to 4 hours, more if there are turns to take into account or radiators to move. A through-floor lift, as you can imagine, is a little more work and takes a competent team around 4-5 days to install.

Home Adaptations

The Kitchen

Most people spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Preparing food, eating it, socialising and enjoying a well-deserved cup of tea are all regular features of our days. Here are some adaptations to consider.

Worktop Height 

Rise and fall kitchen surfaces enable anyone using the counter to adjust it to their preferred height, a great addition to a family household. It’s also possible to have an area of the kitchen with a permanently lowered worktop recessed further so wheelchair users can get closer to the worksurfaces. 

Appliance Location
Most standard kitchens are a nightmare for people with reduced mobility. Making sure fridges, ovens, and microwaves are within reach and usable is key to adapting a kitchen.

Cupboards And Wall Units

Rise-and-fall cupboards, floor cupboards and pull-down shelves that fit inside cupboards and wall-mounted units can help to prevent overreaching and awkward bending for people with mobility difficulties.

Shallow Sinks And Accessible Taps

Shallow sinks, and especially shallow sinks set at a lower height, can transform the kitchen experience for people with a limited range of movement. The shallower the sink, the easier it is to reach down into the bottom of it to retrieve soapy cutlery and crockery. Accessible taps can be sensor based or use a lever function, rather than the tricky twist of conventional taps.

Colours And Lighting
As with the bathroom, using striking colours can help users identify different areas of the kitchen. Using contrasting colours to highlight cupboard doors, for example, makes it easier for people with poor eyesight to see them. Good lighting, and even LED strips around key facilities and equipment can help, too. 

Wider Doorways

Widening doorways in a property means people with reduced mobility can get around their homes smoothly and safely, and the kitchen is no different. 

How Long Does It Take To Adapt A Kitchen?

Because making a kitchen more accessible can involve replacing whole units and moving appliances, among plenty of other jobs, the task of a full adaptation can take 6-10 full days. 

Of course, you may not need or want to take up all of the suggestions listed. To break it down, changing the worktops is likely to take 2-3 hours, and installing a replacement sink around 2 hours. Widening doorways takes up to 6 hours if there are no complications. 

The Living Room

Lounge, front room, living room… Whatever you call it, this room of the house should be a place where you can sit back and relax. Here are a few adaptations you can look into to make sure that’s the case.

Height Of TV

Adjusting the height of the television so that the user’s gaze comfortably finds it when sitting on the sofa or in a comfy armchair means there is less strain on their eyes. Remote controls should be kept in the same place so that they are easy to find.

Window Coverings

Motorised and automated blinds, curtains and shutters work brilliantly in adapted living rooms as well as all around the house. At the touch of a button, the motorised mechanism can open or close the window coverings, meaning no more stretching, reaching or twisting is necessary.

Lighting And Light Switches

Sufficient lighting enables everyone in the home to get around the room easily, removing the trip hazards of chairs, sofas and coffee tables. Frost-tinted bulbs can help reduce glare, and light switches should be at an easy-to-reach height.


Although a soft, cushy carpet can feel like luxury, the deep pile of such a floor covering is extremely hard on wheelchairs, making it impossible to get around the room. Tiles and low-quality vinyl can be super slippy, too. Keep to a short, robust pile, or even better? LVT – luxury vinyl tiles.

How Long Does It Take To Adapt A Living room?

We will always recommend widening doorways if needed, which adds around 6 hours to the job, but for the changes listed above, you’re looking for a couple of hours spent on each.

Full Home Adaptations Can Change Lives 

But it can be difficult to understand what’s actually involved and how long it will all take.

This blog should give you a guide for each stage of a full home adaptation, and remember that a good contractor will help with project management to minimise disruption and get you settled into your renovated home ASAP.

Wondering how much it will all cost and how to finance it? There’s help out there. Read our blog about funding adaptations for more information.