When Chris Nicholls designed his family home, it wasn’t a question of whether there was room for a pool or a high-tech media room, but whether he could reach the sink from his wheelchair.
Nicholls, 49, is a paraplegic and among the many Australians who have modified their own homes with accessibility as the priority.
His $600,000 budget covered the 2007 build, including “big-ticket items” such as a lift to the top floor and smaller items, such as the choice of oven, slope of the bathroom floor and type of kitchen taps.
Chris Nicholls at his house in Sydney. Photo: Daniel Munoz
Since then he has added modifications as needed, such as easy-to-open door handles.
“The doors are much wider than they would normally be … the ground floor has double doors in most areas,” Mr Nicholls, general manager of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, said.
Home modifications can postpone going to a nursing home by five to 10 years.Catherine Bridge, UNSW