A Beginner’s Guide to Positive and Negative Gearing

If you’ve considered investing in the property market, there is a chance that you may have been baffled by the complexities of “positive” and “negative” gearing schemes.

However, determining whether your property will be positively geared or negatively geared is an important step in the investment process. For a better understanding of the benefits and potential drawbacks of these schemes, we have compared the two strategies below:

Positive Gearing

Opting for a positive gearing strategy is generally considered the safer and more conservative option. Positive gearing occurs when the rental income on your investment property exceeds the cost of maintaining it. This includes the cost of mortgage repayments, interest rates and maintenance fees. Positive gearing schemes are sometimes more favourable, as the extra cash-flow results in an immediate short-term profit.

Benefits

  • Immediate short-term profit – Investors will immediately gain an additional stream of income.
  • Low risk – If circumstances change and the investor loses their income, they will not be under pressure to pay the costs associated with multiple mortgages.

Drawbacks

  • The additional funds are taxable – As with your regular income, any funds obtained on a positively geared property are subject to income tax.
  • Less long-term gains – While you are immediately rewarded with additional income, it lacks the long-term payoff of a negatively geared property.
  • It is circumstantial – Due to a range of circumstances, a positively geared property can quickly become negatively geared. For example, if you are forced to reduce the rental income, you may have to cover the extra costs personally.

Negative Gearing

Negative gearing occurs when the rental income is less than the costs of maintaining the home. As the property is running at a loss, investors need to use their own funds to make up the difference. The benefit of a negatively geared investment is that the value of the home is likely to grow in time. It is expected that the increased profit from selling the property will outweigh the initial financial losses. Further, thanks to the available tax deductions, negative gearing can be a helpful strategy for offsetting the costs of acquiring an investment property. Negatively geared homes are likely to be in more populated areas like capital cities, where there are fewer factors that can affect their value.

Benefits

  • Greater long-term profit – Over time, the value of the property can be increased to the point where it exceeds the cost of maintaining it.
  • Tax deductible – A negatively geared home allows you to claim tax deductions related to any expenses you incur, so you can reduce the shortfall in rent and ultimately reduce your taxable income.

Drawbacks

  • Higher risk – If your circumstances change, or an investor loses their source of income, they are still required to cover the additional rent.
  • Housing markets – Investors will need to be careful that the property does not lose value over time. They will also need to ensure that the property is sold at a time where the housing market is strong.
  • You will need to budget – The ongoing costs associated with a long-term investment will add up. You may also need to consider you will be taxed on capital gains accrued when the property is sold.

What’s holding your house up?

There’s more to a house than four walls and a roof.

Foundations and footings, structural timbers and steel, and load bearing brickwork are all doing their bit to keep your house up for decades to come. So, how exactly does it all work?

Foundations and Footings

Houses sit upon a foundation which transfers the load of the walls and roof through the footings to the earth. A house without foundations would sink or topple over from the weight of other parts of the structure.

Footings are wider than the foundation so it can spread out the load of the rest of the house. They are sized according to the weight of the house, the type of rock/soil, available drainage and budget. The main types of footings you’ll find holding Australian homes up include, strip footings, concrete pad footings, ground injected piles, and timber piles.

Timber and Steel

A large majority of Australian homes are built using a timber frame due to its versatility and cost effectiveness. Steel is used throughout the construction to reinforce concrete and is sometimes used in place of timber.

Roof trusses are responsible for supporting your roof over your head while also holding your walls together. Timber trusses are light, durable and can span 10 metres or more without the need for reinforcement. Framing distributes the load of the roof towards the foundations and footings, again framing is typically a timber product and acts as the skeleton of the house.

Load bearing brickwork

The brickwork is an extremely important detail of any house. Not only do your walls keep you protected from the elements, but they take on the load of your roof, hold up against wind and a support a second storey if you’re house has two levels.

Structural Maintenance

It’s possible for buildings to move, the main cause being problems with the foundation soil. At Achieve Homes we provide new home owners with structural maintenance information to help you take care of your house. The CSIRO Foundation Maintenance and Footing Performance: A Homeowner’s Guide explains how to maintain your foundations and footings. The documents is designed to help home owners identify the causes of soil-related building movement, and suggests methods of prevention of cracking in buildings. If you regularly monitor and actively prepare your house through methods suggested by the CSIRO it’s possible to save yourself a lot of headache in the future.

If you’re interested in building a new house checkout our house and land packages here or contact us to find out more on how we can help you.

Interior Design 101 with Anastasia from Achieve

Arguably the most exciting part of building your dream home is envisaging the end product, waking up in your pristine bedroom, cooking dinner in your new kitchen, relaxing in front of the TV.

What you might not have thought about is how design choices will influence the way you feel in your home, and what you can do to make it feel “right” from the moment you step inside.

Anastasia, Achieve Homes’ Selection Coordinator, is our go-to for all things interior design and colour selection and provides expert advice to our proud house-owners. Here’s her top tips for helping you make your home truly yours, reflective of your personality and lifestyle.

Quality over quantity

It’s an ethos that can be applied to almost every element of your life – less is always more. Invest in the best quality furnishings, furniture and art that you can, and purge yourself of meaningless tchotchkes and trinkets that you’ve accumulated over the years. Moving into your new home is a perfect opportunity to declutter and remove those unnecessary and unused items that will just bring chaos to your space.

Form follows function

If ‘quality over quantity’ is the golden rule of design, then ‘form follows function’ is the silver rule. Having a pretty space should come secondary to making sure your home suits your lifestyle and the way you live in your space. Focus on the kitchen and bathrooms – these will be the most used public spaces in your home. While they’re the “workhorse” rooms, they should also have the “wow” factor – after all, you’ll be spending a lot of time in there. Make sure they are built to suit your needs and lifestyle.

Create a blank canvas that will grow with you

A neutral palette used throughout your home is an ideal way to ensure your home can adapt to your changing tastes and preferences over the years. Adding pops of colour is achieved with loose items like decorations, furniture and homewares – think a bright artwork in your living room, or rich coloured bedlinen adorning your bed. These items are cost effective ways to change and mix up the mood in your home when your tastes change.

Make your home your own

The devil is in the detail and these details are what will make your home feel like your sanctuary. Bring the outdoors in and add life to your home with indoors plants – they’ll add tranquillity, colour, and life into a space. Introduce items that allow you to inject your personality into your home.

Creating a flexible home will enable you to adjust your lifestyle over the coming years. By following these tips, your home will be truly “yours” for years to come. Get in contact with the team at Achieve Homes or visit our colour selections studio in Fyshwick to see how Achieve can bring your vision to life.

Why Googong? 10 reasons to invest

There’s no doubt that there’s been a lot of buzz around Googong – but how much do you actually know?

We’ve got 10 things you maybe didn’t know that will make you want to find out more!

It’s closer than you think.

If you’ve never been out to Googong before, you might be thinking that it’s ages away from, well, everything. Fear not – Googong township is located just 16 kilometres south-east of Parliament House. That’s a drive that’s about the same distance between the city and Tuggeranong Hyperdome, around 25 minutes. And with the jobs in Queanbeyan continuing to rise, you’ll be thrilled to be this township’s neighbour.

A vision bought to life

Googong consulted with everyone from urban and transport planners to water engineers and sustainability experts. Queanbeyan City Council and NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure are on board and are fully committed to making Googong the best it can possibly be. The smart people over at Googong Township have spent years consulting the public.  Every element from the fun and flashy Club Googong through to the not-so-glamorous sewage system, has been carefully considered and consulted to plan this modern township.

Big township with small town vibes

Googong is set to cover 780 hectares, with the town centre comprising of approximately 40,000m2 of commercial space – about the same size as Manuka. While this is a significant investment in promoting growth in this new township, they haven’t compromised in creating community focused spaces, with 196 hectares dedicated to gardens and open spaces. This means you get all the access to modern facilities without having to forego a relaxing and healthy lifestyle.

It’s accessible.

It’s never been easier to travel between Googong and Canberra or Queanbeyan with considerable improvements being made to the main access roads. With main sections of the Edwin Land Parkway open from 2012, it’s easy to get to Tuggeranong, Woden and Canberra City from your home in Googong.

It’s priced competitively.

Wondering how all this compares to ACT land releases? A standard lot in Googong will cost you $170,000 less than a standard lot at Throsby. After a premium lot? Montgomery Rise in Googong is still $130,00 less than a premium lot at Denman Prospect

It’s super pretty.

Looking out over the picturesque mountain backdrop of the Molonglo Ranges, you’ll forget that the hustle and bustle of the city is only a short drive away! You’ll be able to walk out your new front door and be greeted by wonderful scenery.

Everything’s new!

New road linkages, schools, Club Googong (year round swims for all!), Beltana Park and Rockley Oval for playing and watching sports, playgrounds, community centres, a library, modern connectivity fibres, mobile phone coverage… We could go on, but you should have a look for yourself.

Go green.

Feel great about living in an environment that cares for the environment. Googong is proud of their purpose-built water and sewerage system that delivers recycled water to every home for toilet flushing and garden watering – as well as providing irrigation for parks and open spaces. They’ve built up a network of walking paths to encourage people to get on their feet – good for you, good for the planet! Add an abundance of ecological waterways and pond and habitats for protected native species, you’ll be feeling even better about your new home.

Googong is for everyone.

If you’re interested in living a life that’s relaxing, rewarding and sustainable – congratulations, you meet the criteria for being a homeowner in Googong. Everyone can find the right pace for their life here at Googong – we even have a dog park for your four-legged friends.

It’s going to be THE place to be.

Imagine the bragging rights you’ll score having been among the first to invest in this township that’s projected to house, educate, employ and entertain as many as 18,000 people. If you want to be among the first, check out the house and land packages we have available and contact us today!

Throsby is the answer

Throsby is the latest addition to sunny Gungahlin.

Sitting on the North side of Horse Park Drive and backing the Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve and Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary, this suburb has all the convenience of the city with the stunning vistas of a regional township.

So, what makes Throsby so great? Here’s the answer to all your questions

What’s Throsby near?

Throsby holds a convenient location, being so close to the Gungahlin town centre, and within a few minutes drive of the Federal Highway. If you feel like a drive to the coast on a Saturday morning – no problem! Jump on the  Federal Highway followed by Macs Reef Rd, and you will be well on your way to the beach!

For those who commute to Gungahlin, Canberra City or Fyshwick, Horse Park Drive provides access to all major routes. Horse Park Drive’s east side recently underwent an upgrade, which has expanded its capacity to a dual carriageway and has cut the time to the east and south substantially.

And with the Light Rail Network set to commence in 2019, Gungahlin will soon be more connected than ever to Canberra City Centre and its surrounds.

What can I get up to in Throsby?

For the food lovers amongst you, the town centre of Gungahlin has cafés and restaurants aplenty.

Prefer to be out and about? You’re in the prime spot to enjoy mountain biking, hiking and walking, being so close to the Centenary Trail.

Want to shop til you drop? The Gungahlin town centre is now home to Bunnings, and will have K-mart by Christmas 2016.

Throsby is also the home of Mingle, a Community Development Program that provides fun social events to help you meet your neighbours.  The Mingle program consists of workshops, local events, community groups and plenty of fun filled for Throsby residents to get involved in their local community and learn about the resources available in the Gungahlin region, while connecting with their neighbours.

What’s the housing like in Throsby?

The release of “Prestige” has revolutionised housing options in Canberra. Enjoy the spacious and elegant living areas and the glamour of high end inclusions of these terrace homes. These low maintenance houses all have separate titles, meaning no body corporate issues for you to contend with!

If space is what you crave, Prestige @ Throsby is the answer. Each townhouse has spacious 2.7m internal ceilings, and multiple separate living and outdoor areas. Leave your day behind when you step into your luxurious 3.6 x 4.3 metre master bedroom with walk in wardrobe and double basin vanity in your ensuite.

For those who want to be close to nature, but still enjoy all the amenities that a major town centre provides, Throsby is the answer.

Who Chooses A Knock Down Rebuild?

Who chooses a Knock Down Rebuild?

We’ve already established that knock down rebuilds are becoming increasingly popular in Australia, but you may be wondering who chooses to go through the exciting process of demolition and building a dream home when you’ve outgrown your current space?

If any of these sound like you, a knock down rebuild might be perfect option.

The “tricky site” home owners

Perhaps you’ve got a large tree that’s been planted years ago whose roots are now causing havoc on your plumbing, or maybe you’re set up on a sloping block that has to meet specific building guidelines? Knock down rebuilds are a great opportunity to have a home built to your blocks specifications, without having to compromise on constructing a contemporary home with all the features you’re looking for.

The “changing needs” household

No matter if your family is growing, or if your children are “flying the nest”, it might be time to consider what you want your home to look like moving into the future. A new home in a spot that you love can be the perfect change to support your lifestyle and the memories you plan on making there. You may want a contemporary designed home that’s energy efficient, alfresco dining areas for those warm summer eves or bigger living areas for celebrating your families achievements – it really is up to you!

The “renovations seem too risky” decision maker

Renovations are notorious for running over time, over budget and bringing a whole lot of extra stress to your life. Many renovations are priced relying on the “bones” of the house being in great working order – unfortunately, too often, this is just not the case. Remove the risk of hidden costs by starting from scratch and avoid having your budgets blowout. Save money, save time and save yourself a whole lot stress by investing in a knock down rebuild.

The “I know what I like, but I haven’t been able to find it” house

Want loads of storage, after specific features and finishings, or have you gotten as far as having plans drawn up? Instead of spending days, months – even years! – searching high and low for your dream home in Canberra and surrounds, Achieve Homes would love to discuss with you how to bring your vision to life. We’re experienced in building quality homes, designed to your specifications, within an agreed upon time frame and budget.

The “we love our neighbourhood, but not our house” family

Minimising family disruption can be a key factor in choosing to knock down rebuild. Canberra residents are known to be fiercely loyal to their suburbs, and by staying in your neighbourhood, there’s no need to change schools, alter schedules around getting to work or re-establish the family in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. Stay close to family and friends in a location you love and build the house you love to match!

Knockdown and Rebuild Costs in Canberra

Achieve Homes are a group of leading specialists in knock down rebuilds across VIC, NSW and ACT. We take pride in helping our customers build the home they have always wanted, where they want it. We offer a wide range of home and land packages but growingly we are seeing new families take a further step and commit to building their very own homes.

For many, the prospect of knocking down an old structure and freeing the space to create their own dream home is something that offers a remarkable level of freedom. The implicit costs and time investment of building your own home is something that pales in comparison to the 

Knockdown and Rebuild Costs in Melbourne

Melbourne is a ready site for knockdown rebuilds. With slews of properties in up-and-coming areas primed for growth, there are plenty of opportunities open for individuals, investors and families looking to build their very own brand-new home.

Achieve Homes are the award-winning organisation helping families and investors build their very own homes in and around Melbourne and we are excited to see what we can do for our customers in the coming months and years ahead. We have opened a number of display home locations throughout Melbourne that are perfect for those looking to get a better picture for what we can make possible for them.

Make a knock down rebuild easy with the help of Achieve Homes

Achieve Homes are the new home building specialists perfectly equipped to help individuals, investors and families alike plan and build their very own new home. For those who have fallen in love with the area and community that they are already living in, knocking down the home you have lived in gives you the perfect opportunity to build the home you’ve always wanted, exactly where you want it.

Get in contact with us today to find out what we can make possible for you! 

What would you ask the person building your dream home?

Your dream home is easy to imagine but getting those ideas in your head to translate into reality can be difficult.

That’s where architectural services comes in handy.

Krystal is Achieves in-house Project Designer and with more than 10 years of industry experience she knows a thing or two about making your dream home become a reality. She answered some questions we had for her about custom builds.

What are three things every person should consider when engaging an architect to custom build their home?

  1. Their needs and wants
  2. Their lifestyle
  3. The adaptability of the home as the family grows and changes over time

Why do you think custom builders are so popular?

Achieve Homes offer the complete package in a timely and efficient manner. We have the knowledge and resources to exceed the expectations of clients and we can delivery on budget with no hidden cost.

Who chooses to do a custom build?

Anyone can, I think there is a lot of people that believe it is unaffordable which is not the case. If you know what you want then why not try and achieve that.

What are the steps involved in a custom build?

Come to us with a brief of what you need and want in a house, ideas of how you would like it to look, block details if you have one – we can also do custom builds on a knockdown rebuild in existing suburbs!

What experience have you had in the industry prior to joining Achieve?

I have had the pleasure to establish a design department within Achieve Homes building company this year. Prior to this new venture I have been in the industry for 10 years working with engineers and well-known local and international architectural firms where I have obtained a great deal of knowledge and experience in the field working on many design winning projects which have taken out HIA (ACT/Southern NSW) custom built home of the year 2016 & MBA 2016 House of the year.

What’s the best part about being an architect?

The satisfaction of helping our clients to achieve their dream home that suits their needs and life style.

What standard features do your homes include? What options and upgrades can I select?

All our project homes come included with two living areas, walk in pantries, walk in robe for the master and for large 4 bedrooms homes an alfresco area for dining outside and an instantaneous gas hot water unit is included into the price. The optional upgrades include façade and material upgrades and optional alfresco areas on the 3 and 4 bedroom homes.

If you’re interested in a custom home or knock down rebuild get in contact with Achieve Homes today.

Buying a new home vs buying an established home

Buying a new home vs buying an established home? This is a question we constantly get asked, the truth is, there are advantages and disadvantages for both!

We’ve pulled together a list of what we love – and less than love – about purchasing an established home and purchasing a brand new home.

An Established Home

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Established homes tend to have an architectural beauty, charm and individuality about them – characteristics that are certainly difficult to find in brand new homes. They also bear a mature garden, which means there’s no need for costly landscaping, fence fitting or time spent nurturing a young, dependent garden.

Older homes are located in older suburbs, where the streets are lined with large, fully grown trees and established nature strips – a site that, in a new home, could take decades to come to fruition. Older homes also have larger blocks, meaning a bigger backyard and more space between your neighbours.

When purchasing a pre-loved home, buyers also tend to have more flexibility in their negotiating power on the price of the home. There’s also a good opportunity for savings/investment. However, if you’re lucky enough to save a bit on money buying an older home, it does beg the question – what do you need to spend money on to update or revote the house? Fixing up older homes can often be very costly. Renovations could range from simply replacing a toilet suite to needing an entire new kitchen. Then there is always the unknown, because you never really know what will need fixing (and the costs associated with it) until you move in.

Plus, there are a range of inspection and residential reports that you should get when buying an established home. These include building inspection reports, pest inspections etc, and range in cost.

A Brand New Home

Googong

There’s nothing like the luxury of moving into a brand new home. No maintenance or renovations are required because everything is brand spanking new; the paint is fresh; the floor is unscathed; and the kitchen and bathrooms are modern are functioning properly. There’s also the comfort of knowing that the products and components of your new home are still under manufacturer’s or builder’s warranty, so if something breaks you can get it fixed quickly and easily. And did we mention that new homes are guaranteed asbestos free?

The orientation of a new home is also likely to be much better compared with an older home. These days, houses are built to maximise sunlight in the right rooms at the right times of day. Not only does this boost the amount of natural light in your home, it also helps to ensure that you use your air conditioner less in summer and your heater less in winter, saving you money in the long run! New homes are also much more energy efficient than old homes. They use current, energy-saving materials, technology and appliances to reduce the impact on both the earth and your pocket.

While new suburbs tend to be in a more remote location, they are also better planned with nearby schools, shops, parks and other community and recreational facilities. Although, as mentioned above, it can take years for these suburbs to develop the natural beauty of an older suburb.

When purchasing a new home, buyers do not usually have much negotiating power on price and have less opportunity to for savings/investment. In saying this, if you’re an investment buyer, a new home can be quite appealing due to the depreciation benefits that can be transferred to tax benefits.

New homes also aren’t entirely complete just because the build has finished. There’s usually landscaping to be done, proper fences to be built and sometimes a driveway to be paved. Due to space restrictions, new homes are also built on smaller blocks, meaning they compensate the backyard to ensure a reasonably sized home. On the plus side, if you shop around, you should be able to find affordable, value-for-money house and land packages in a suburb to suit your needs!

First Home Owner Grant: What You Need to Know

Are you a first-time home buyer that’s finding the First Home Owner Grant all very confusing? You’re not alone. We’ve answered the most important questions you’re probably asking yourself about the grant, to help make life a little easier while you search for your new home:

The First Home Owner Grant was introduced in 2000 as a way to offset the effects of GST on home ownership for people who are purchasing their first home. It is a national scheme which is funded by the individual states and territories and administered under their own legislation.

Are you eligible for the First Home Owner Grant?

To qualify for a First Home Owner Grant in the ACT or NSW you must meet the following criteria:

  • Each applicant is a natural person and not a company or trust.
  • At least one applicant is a permanent resident or Australian citizen.
  • Each applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
  • All applicants and/or their spouse/de facto have not owned a residential property, jointly, separately or with another person, in any State or Territory of Australia before July 2000.
  • All applicants and/or their spouse/de facto have not previously owned a residential property jointly, separately or with another person in any State or Territory of Australia, and occupied that property for a continuous period of at least six months.
  • This is the first time an applicant and/or their spouse/de facto will receive a grant under the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 in any State or Territory (unless subsequently repaid).

What makes a property eligible?

The First Home Owner Grant applies to new or substantially renovated properties with a value of less than $750,000. A new or substantially renovated property is:

  • a home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence; or
  • a substantially renovated home that, as renovated, has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence; or
  • a property which is subject to an “off the plan” purchase agreement.

The home must not have been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence. For a renovation to be considered as ‘substantial’, they must have affected most of the rooms in the building.

Further requirements to be met:

New home: The home must be complete and ready for occupation at the time of the application for the grant.

Off the plan purchase: The land must be intended for the site of a new home and must be built before completion of the agreement.

Vacant land purchase: Foundations of the property must be layed within 26 weeks of completion of the purchase, however there is no limit on the time of construction. Agreement or transfer of vacant land must be for the whole of the land. If the land is a parcel of land where two or more homes are to be built, the agreement or transfer must be for that part of the land which has exclusive occupancy.

Once all these criteria are met, the owner must live in the new home for at least 6 months. If you move out before 6 months the grant must be repaid.

How much is the grant?

ACT: As announced in the 2015-16 budget, the FHOG was reduced to $7,000 tax free for grants on or after January 1st 2017.

NSW: The FHOG in NSW offers a $10,000 tax free grant for homes that meet all criteria.

Are stamp duty concessions available?

Yes, in the ACT for properties under $468,000 you can expect to only pay $20, and for properties up to $590,000 you’ll be paying $14.70 for each $100 over $468,000.

For amounts in NSW, click here.

Does your income affect your eligibility for the grant?

No, the grant is not affected by your income, however it does affect your concessional duty amounts.

How To Build an Accessible Home

An accessible home is one that not only makes life easier for the mobility impaired, but is also one that’s sustainable.

Owners of homes that are built in an accessible way can live comfortably for decades to come, without the need for expensive modifications in the future. Plus, building a house that is accessible means there’s no restrictions for people that visit your home, and no restrictions if you find yourself with an injury!

If you’re interested in incorporating some accessibility features into your new home, it’s important to consider a few things first:

Driveway:

Adding even just a meter to the driveway and garage will remove the stress of getting in and out of a car, plus it’s so much easier to park! To help give you an idea of size, public disabled carparks are 2400mm wide x 5400mm long with a shared area along one side of the space.

There should be a clear, wide and sealed flat path between the garage and the front door, making sure there is no steep inclines, curbs, or stairs. If you’re planting trees or bushes along front paths make sure there are no hazardous branches that could be problematic in terms of overhead clearance or vision impairment.

Googong

Doors: 

Next, you should ensure that your doors are user friendly. This means building a door that is wide enough for wheelchair access, is not too heavy or difficult to open, and has a handle that’s easy to use. Round door handles may prove difficult to manipulate, so it’s best to choose a D-Shaped handle.

The door width for adequate wheelchair access is a minimum of 813mm and should open away from the body (in towards the house). This is slightly wider than the standard front door, but there are many available on the market. Large entry doors are very on trend and add a feeling of grandeur and opulence, which also provides a great first impression for visitors and bypasses!

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Bathrooms and Toilets:

People with impairments use amenities differently to most and may take a little longer to use them. Adding an extra bathroom to your home will ensure there’s ample facilities for everyone to use. Also, having the toilet separate to the rest of the bathroom means the toilet can still be used while someone is in the shower.

Flooring and drainage is crucial to safety, ensuring that everyone who uses the bathroom will have a reduced risk of slipping over. A non-slip floor will also assist this, as will providing a uniform flat surface between the shower and the rest of the bathroom.

Taps and fittings in an accessible bathroom need to be within an arm’s reach and easy to manipulate. You should also leave underneath the sink empty so that wheelchairs can get up close the vanity.

Grab rail supports are necessary for providing stability around the bathroom. They help the mobility impaired get on and off the toilet, as well as into showers and bathtubs. Other options include walk-in baths, electric toilets and even remote controlled showers (who wouldn’t want one of those?).

Grab rail supports

Living Areas:

While carpet is a popular choice, it’s hard to roll wheels over. Opt for tiled or timber flooring instead! Not only is it easier for those in a wheelchair, it’s also modern and clean. Just remember that a high-gloss tile can sometimes mean a high-slip tile, which is bad news for people with crutches or canes.

Floor space in living areas is paramount for manoeuvrability. If any of your furniture is going to be built in, make sure there is still room for people with varying degrees of mobility. Move loose furniture to the outside walls and remove coffee tables in favour of side tables to provide plenty of space to get around without added obstacles.

In terms of window furnishing, long curtains that puddle on the floor can be tripping hazards and can get caught up in wheels. Blinds with cords may also be difficult to reach, so a great option is custom fitted shutters. They’re easy to use and you certainly won’t need to compromise on style.

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The Kitchen:

Just like the main doors in your house, the handles you choose for your drawers and cupboards in your kitchen should be easy to use, with round handles to be avoided. Just like with the bathroom, keep underneath the sink empty to provide space for wheelchairs to get up close. Replacing under bench storage with drawers also makes access to stored items much easier, and likewise takes the struggle out of getting to the items at the back. Having lowered sections of benchtops are perfect for wheelchair users to use as prep areas. The standard bench height is 900mm but reducing it as little as 50mm makes all the difference.

Safety and accessibility features are becoming the norm with kitchen appliances. Ovens that open sideways rather than down wards are now available, which enables people to get close without having to lean over a hot door. We’re also seeing staggered stove tops with controls along the front, which eliminate the danger of reaching across hot burners.

Hopefully we’ve covered just about everything you should incorporate into your beautiful new accessible home. Following these tips will ensure your home is one that people from all walks of life can enjoy.

Googong

References:

Able 2 UK, Wheelchair Accessible Living Room Designs, http://www.able2uk.com/disability-news/wheelchair-accessible-living-room-designs, Accessed 24/02/17

Disability Horizons, Disability and independence: creating an accessible bathroom, http://disabilityhorizons.com/2016/03/disability-and-independence-creating-an-accessible-bathroom/, Accessed 24/02/17

Easterseals Crossroads, Top 5 things to consider when designing an accessible kitchen for wheelchair users, http://www.eastersealstech.com/2014/06/04/accessiblekitchendesign/, Accessed 24/02/17

Equal Access Australia, Accessible (Disabled) Car Parking Requirements, https://www.disabilityaccessconsultants.com.au/accessible-disabled-car-parking-requirements/, Accessed 24/02/17

Handle House, https://handlehouse.com.au/product/l11-mackay-door-handles/, Accessed 24/02/17

The KingBorough Council, Building an accessible home, http://www.kingborough.tas.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Building%20in%20Kingborough%2015.02.16.pdf, Accessed 24/02/17