learning the basics of home septic systems
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learning the basics of home septic systems

A septic system is something that is easily forgotten until something goes horribly wrong. What should you avoid running down your kitchen sink? Is one type of toilet paper safer to use than another? How often does your septic tank really need to be cleaned? These were just some of the questions that I had about my septic tank after it had backed up and filled my yard with raw sewage. Since then, I have spent hours researching septic systems so that I would not have to go through that again. I have developed my website to make learning about septic systems a little easier for others like me.

learning the basics of home septic systems

Tips For Making Your Home More Wheelchair Accessible

Matthew Young

In the summer of 2014, an ATV accident left Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen paralyzed from the waist down. Unbeknownst to the six-time Olympic gold medalist, a team of workers from a home-improvement television show transformed her home while she was in the hospital to make it wheelchair accessible. To do so, they made a number of changes throughout the house, including adding a lower kitchen island and installing a wheelchair-accessible shower. If you have a loved one who was recently paralyzed, you will also need to make numerous changes throughout your house before you can bring them home.

The Hard Facts

Unlike Van Dyken-Rouen, you will probably not be lucky enough to have a television show swoop in to complete all of the disability remodeling work you will need in your home. Unfortunately, the cost for the changes you will need to make will not be cheap. According to Fixr, a disability remodel on a kitchen costs approximately $20,000, while a bathroom remodel will cost about $9,000. The site estimated that it will cost another $9,000 for a ramp addition to a deck. Fortunately, there is a good historical return on all of these additions. 


One of the first things you will probably need for your handicapped family member is a way for them to enter and leave the home. You will need to make sure that:

  • Your doorways are at least 32 inches wide and a ramp.
  • The entryway has no threshold. 
  • You will need at least one doorway that does not have steps. Any ramp you build should have a 1:12-inch slope ratio, meaning that for every one inch of height, the ramp must be twelve inches long.


It's also important to have at least one wheelchair-accessible bathroom so that your family member can have the freedom to take care of their own hygiene needs. You will need to click here and hire experienced plumbing contractors to do this work as it has to be up to code when it is finished. The following are a few features that you will want to include in a wheelchair-friendly bathroom: 

  • Handicap accessible toilet. You should also add grab rails so that your handicapped family member has something to assist them with getting on and off the toilet. 
  • Room to turn around. Your bathroom will need an open space that is at least five feet in diameter so that they can turn their wheelchair around. 
  • Wider doorway. The entryway should be at least three-feet wide so that a wheelchair can easily fit through it. 
  • A lower vanity and sink with wheelchair access. 
  • A wheelchair-accessible shower. The stall should not have a threshold. For convenience, consider adding a computer-operated shower. Van Dyken-Rouen's bathroom was outfitted with one, which allows her to set the water temperature before she enters the stall. 


Because a kitchen remodel is so expensive, you may want to delay this until after you complete the work on your bathrooms. But having a wheelchair-accessible kitchen will allow your handicapped family member to be more independent. The following are some features you might want to consider adding to your kitchen to make it more wheelchair accessible:

  • Lower countertops, sinks and cabinets. Some families have dual levels so that all family members have areas where they can work comfortably. 
  • Install a wheelchair-accessible cooktop. This type of cooktop is lower and has room underneath so that a wheelchair can slide under it. 
  • Adding a hose on your faucet. This will make it easier for the handicapped family member to rinse off dishes. 
  • Install lazy susans, which will make it easier for the handicapped person to access items in your cabinets. 

These are just a few of the modifications you will need to make to your home so that your handicapped family member can enjoy a greater degree of independence.