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Garage remodeling for a vision disability

Your guide to garage remodeling for a vision disability.

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Plan ahead when doing garage remodeling for a vision disability. Photo by halle on Flickr.Low vision, cataracts and color blindness are just a few of the conditions that can affect your ability to see. A garage remodeling for a vision disability can make it safer and easier for people with disabilities to enjoy the space.

People with low vision have difficulty seeing even if they wear glasses or have surgery to improve their vision. When you start a residential remodeling project, think about what kind of lighting you have in your garage. If it is not bright enough, someone with low vision may not be able to see.

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You should also ensure that the lighting in the garage produces as little glare as possible, as glare makes it difficult to see. During your garage remodeling project, you should add task lighting wherever possible, especially if a person with low vision uses the garage for detailed work. Lamps with flexible necks make it easy to direct light where it is needed.

Control glare by choosing flooring with a matte finish and covering doors and windows.

When accommodating disabilities that affect sight, you should always eliminate obstacles that pose fall hazards. Finished garages may have features that are difficult to navigate around, so plan to modify these features with your garage remodeling project.

Some garages may lack storage space, making it more likely that items will be stored in boxes or bins. During your residential renovation project, add vertical storage to the garage so that you can remove these tripping hazards.

If you have a finished garage, create a large area of open space by moving furniture against the walls.

Garage remodeling for a vision disability may affect the type of flooring you choose. Loose carpets and throw rugs are not the best type of flooring for someone at risk of falls, especially if that person uses a walker or cane. Remove these items and replace them with hard flooring or install carpeting. If you install carpeting, nonskid padding is the best.

Doorsills also increase the risk of falls for someone who cannot see well. If you cannot remove them, paint them a color that contrasts with the rest of the flooring.

People with vision disabilities may have difficulty seeing small print, so keep this in mind when labeling storage containers or pegboards in the garage.

If the garage has any steps, install handrails on both sides. If someone with a vision disability has trouble seeing the steps, the rails will reduce the risk of falls. Make sure the rails you install contrast with the walls of the garage. Painting stripes on the steps or installing steps that are a different color than the rest of the stairs can also reduce the risk of falls.

Whether you need to make a few small modifications or need to remodel your entire garage, having a reliable contractor do the work can save you time and money. Reply! can help you find a local contractor to review your plans and give you a project estimate. Before you start garage remodeling for a vision disability, organizations dedicated to vision can be a valuable source of information to help you determine the best course of action.

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Photo credit: halle via Compfight CC.