Before you decide to replace kitchen and/or bathroom cabinets and counters with lower surfaces to accommodate someone with a disability, consider a couple of alternatives. Lower counters and cabinets can affect the market value of your home when you want to sell. Two less expensive alternatives can save hundreds of dollars at the time you remodel and protect the value of your home when you sell. First, consider installing pull-out work surfaces at the desired height. For example, have a carpenter install a pull-out surface between drawers and cabinets below counters. With the right materials, this can provide a highly-accessible work surface that will not detract from the value of your home. Second, instead of replacing your cabinets and counters with lower counters and cabinets, build a temporary platform that raises you instead of lowering surfaces and cabinets. Most cabinets are set 2 – 3 inches above the floor. Building a simple wood platform that extends just high enough to allow you to open cabinet doors, could solve the accessibility problem without limiting access to below-counter cabinets. Just be sure to cover all points of contact with existing floor, cabinet bases, walls, etc. with a soft, non-abrasive material like felt or cotton to prevent damage. The platform construction will cost far less than new cabinets and counters, and, when you are ready to sell your home, it can be removed quickly and inexpensively.

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