When it comes to someone seeking out the right holiday or property rental for them, it’s the small, thoughtful details that make a place truly stand out. Equally so, overlooking larger details can be a total dealbreaker, causing your property to take a serious backseat amongst the competition.
One way of avoiding this is by placing yourself in the shoes of your future guests or tenants. Be sure to consider every single potential guest, and not only those who immediately come to mind. Naturally, if done correctly, this should offer an all-inclusive stay without alienating anyone.
Floor layout plan
A well-planned floor layout is essential when it comes to the mobility and accessibility of a space. Those with wheelchairs, for example, find it much easier to move around from space to space freely without having to get through multiple doors or entrances. To accommodate this freedom of mobility, consider open-plan layouts over closed layouts where possible, like joining the kitchen and the living-room.
Not only will an open plan layout add to the mobility and accessibility of your property, but it could also bring in more light, make spaces appear much larger than they actually are, and give guests more of an opportunity to spend more time together – a bonus for everyone. For the living room and kitchen, don’t forget to leave enough room to move comfortably between seating and counters.
Door knobs, entrances and hallways
For the parts of your property that do have doors, you might want to ditch the doorknobs and opt for door handles or levers instead. This goes for tap handles too, so keep this in mind when looking at areas like your kitchen and bathroom. You might have guests who are injured, suffering from joint pain or simply can’t use their hands to grip onto a doorknob. Not only can door knobs be slippery, but they also prevent anyone from using their elbows or bodyweight to open the door should they need to.
Be sure to leave enough space for guests to get in and out of entrances and hallways comfortably. Create a clear pathway between them by removing unnecessary objects which may act as obstacles along the way. This includes carpets or floors which are slippery, rough or difficult to cross.
Floors, shelves and counters
Certain floor choices may look great, but they need to be practical too. For example, you might choose tiles because they look good or are easier to clean, but they might be a hazard for children or the elderly. Some surfaces might cause a fall if they are too slippery. At the same time, overly rough surfaces can make it difficult to move around freely on a wheelchair, so it helps to keep both extremes in mind and meet safely somewhere in the middle.
When it comes to surfaces like shelves and counters, be sure to create a space that is easily accessible for people of all ages and heights. You might even want to make certain surfaces adjustable, especially workstations like kitchen counters or desks.
Light switches should be in a sensible location and at arm’s reach from both a seated and standing position. There is nothing worse than having to cross a dark room riddled with obstacles because you can’t find or reach a switch. With this in mind, you might even want to add two-way switches to your property, with one switch on each end of the room. This makes them more accessible from both ends of a room, particularly useful if you’d like to switch off the lights from the bed or sofa without getting up.
Stairs, ramps and lifts.
Stairs can make it impossible for some people to get from one floor to another. For example, those who are disabled, elderly, injured or suffering from leg pain – just to name a few. They can also be hugely tiresome, especially in larger homes. If you do have stairs, be sure to make them more safe, secure and accessible by adding hand railings on one or both sides.
One way of getting around stairs entirely is by adding lifts to your property. This way, you can assure quick and easy access to all floors for everyone in the household. As with any entrance, remember to choose a spacious option to make entering and exiting the lift possible.
If there’s no space for a traditional home lift, then you might want to consider a two-in-one stairlift. These don’t take up any additional space and provide independent, safe and secure transport for those using it.
And finally, when dealing with fewer stairs, opt for ramps over stairs. Ramps can be a great way to make lower or higher grounds more accessible, especially for those on wheels.