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If something is made of wood inside or outside a home, a skilled carpenter will build it or repair it: framework, drywall, partitions, cabinets, closets, ramps, stairs, handrails, furniture, moldings, panels, decks, doors, floors, ceilings, rafters, porches, and fences…the list is almost endless. Carpenters work independently, or as part of a team that includes tradespeople such as plumbers and electricians.All carpenters who are hired to make disability modifications should be familiar with the specifications of the American with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) In addition, a carpenter should understand the concepts of Universal Design. These design principles emphasize the integration of utility and beauty in buildings and products.

When building or re-modeling, carpenters contribute to the creation of a comfortable home that can be managed by a person with disability.For example, a carpenter can build a covered entrance that offers protection from the wind, rain and snow. A carpenter can replace steps with a ramp. ensuring access for people who use wheelchairs. A carpenter can facilitate the use of wheelchairs and other mobility devices within a home by covering level floors with non-slip material such as cork, vinyl or mosaic tiles with a matte finish. Ideally, a home should be located on a single level. If not, a carpenter can help to remodel the ground floor so that it has at least one accessible bathroom, bedroom, and an area for entertainment.

Many carpenters complete formal apprenticeships, but some learn their skills as helpers to experienced carpenters. In selecting a carpenter, documented references are particularly important since carpenters do not complete a formal certification or licensing process. When you hire a carpenter, discuss your specific requirements, and make certain that the carpenter is experienced. Tradespeople should be familiar with both practical and decorative resources. A home owner should be attentive to the credentials, including licenses, of the tradespeople with whom their carpenter works. Chose carpenters and other tradespeople who are familiar with code, ADA requirements, and experienced in working with people who have disabilities. Inquiries about insurance policies are appropriate.


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