Bathroom Remodeling for Elderly Access

Answered by Brett ~ February 23, 2011 ~ 1 Comments » | Respond to this question

My wheelchair-dependent father will move in with me soon. A small bathroom next to the 12 x 14' bedroom he'll use has sink, toilet, and shower plumbing on the wall away from his bedroom. Stealing two feet from the bedroom and adding it to the bathroom seems like a great bathroom remodeling idea, as no plumbing would move. He'll have more mobility and independence. I don't think it's a bearing wall. Roughly what would it cost to move the wall and add a linen closet to one end of the shower?

Mike ~ Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Brett Kulina

Mike, I am hesitant to quote you a price for relocating an interior wall in your house, because although it may seem like a simple project, the reality could be very different from what you expect. Although your bathroom remodel is made more simple by the fact that the wall in question has no plumbing to relocate, there may still be electrical lines and HVAC duct work that need to be dealt with. In addition, until a qualified contractor or structural engineer inspects your house, you should assume that the wall is load bearing. Keep in mind that oftentimes interior walls, which appear to be non-load bearing, are in fact integral to the integrity of a home's floor or truss system that rests on top of the wall.

Your project certainly sounds feasible, and your father will most likely appreciate the added space in his new bathroom. You should also consider installing grab bars near the toilet and shower for his convenience, as well as a shower stall that is barrier free. Although these added features may add several hundred dollars to the overall cost of your project, there should be some valuable peace of mind for you, knowing that your father can safely use his bathroom without the need of assistance.

I think your best bet is to consult a qualified contractor who works in the Pittsburgh area, and have them determine the steps necessary to relocate the interior wall. After your home has been thoroughly inspected by a contractor, then you can work with them to create some construction drawings and estimate the cost of your project. Good luck with it and thanks for checking in with us at reliableremodeler.com!

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