Modifying Homes in Thailand to Increase Accessibility
Nearly two million men and women living in Thailand have a disability, and access to universal housing designs are increasing as the Phuket real estate market expands according to innovations in technology. Studies on home construction in Thailand found that after modifications were made to increase accessibility, the level of difficulties decreased for 23.8% of the participants who had reported having difficulties walking and 29.6% who struggled with getting up from a chair or bed. As technology continues to advance in terms of the ability to construct a home fit for someone with special accessibility, more and more homes in Phuket and beyond will benefit from the increased value this adds to life and an experience in a home.
The Current State & Benefits of Home Modification in Phuket
The idea behind universal design, which is a term used in real estate and construction to denote a housing design that is accessible by anybody regardless of their ability, is that more and more people can enjoy the space they live in. In fact, the World Health Organization notes, specifically in regards to Thailand and its residents, that home environment modifications are essential to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities. Phuket falls under the umbrella of the outstanding attention the Thai government as paid to this type of housing development change. The Persons with Disabilities Empowerment Act that was passed in 2007 ensures that registered persons with disabilities are entitled to government subsidies for home environment modification up to a maximum of 20,000 Thai baht. This is actually in line with the positive and inclusive attitude Thailand has all over the country regarding accessibility for all residents and visitors.
How to Use Universal Design Increases Access
Amongst the most popular modifications that the study above engaged in were installing ramps, widening the doorways and adding grab bars. Installing ramps in homes in Phuket is likely be the most costly development, but installing temporary ramps can be a low-cost solution. Widening the doorways to ensure wheelchairs and walkers can easily move through them is also an easy fix and can be done by using offset hinges to help swing the door clear of the opening. Adding grab bars around the house can help with stability in the bathroom as well as other areas where people find that they need help in standing up, sitting down, or walking up stairs. This is especially important and relevant to Phuket homes that feature outdoor pool spaces where the floor might be slippery and a person needs extra support.
Relying on Smart Tech to Enhance Access
While developers and real estate companies are continuing to gather stats on the usage of smart tech in Thai homes, 81% of current smart-home device owners in other parts of the world say they would be more willing to buy a home with connected tech already built in, meaning that it is sure to add value to your property while also increasing its accessibility. Easy to install and fairly cheap smart technologies can include smart thermostats, smart lighting and even in-home assistants. While these all increase the efficiency of your home, they are simple ways to provide a little extra help to people who might not be able to control these things themselves. Installing a smart lock and door camera are also great ways to increase accessibility as anybody will be able to see who is at the door and unlock it from their smartphone whether they can get up and walk to the door or not.
The Future of Accessibility in Phuket
While the Thai government is already doing their fair share of work in creating a culture that supports accessibility, it will ultimately depend on real estate companies and developers to continue this trend in order to ensure ease of access for all. As technology becomes more popular and accessible in Phuket, more and more real estate companies will be able to cost-effectively incorporate them into their offerings and cultivate a better experience for homeowners.