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Creating a Barrier Free Designed Bathroom in Calgary - RenewVation Calgary Renovations

RenewVation Renovations. Basement Development, Bathrooms, Kitchens and Load Bearing Wall Removal


Creating a Barrier Free Designed Bathroom in Calgary

June 2, 2020by RENEWvation


Calgary residence who are aging in place or handicapped may need to make modifications to their homes and bathrooms in order safely use those.

Also as Albertan’s may have access to funding to help aid in making changes like barrier-free bathrooms or wheelchair accessible spaces.  This funding can be found here: 

The Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP)  helps Low-income Albertans with mobility challenges can apply for grants to modify their home- and of course, RenewVation is here to help.  RAMP is intended to assist low income Albertans with mobility challenges with grants to modify their home in order to remain
living safely in their own homes.

From their site:

For more information on eligibility for RAMP, please refer to the RAMP Guidelines and Criteria ).

Eligible applicants
You may be eligible for a RAMP grant if you are:

a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who has lived in Alberta for 90 continuous days
an Albertan of any age who uses a wheelchair or a senior (65+ years) who uses a 4-wheel walker on an ongoing basis
living with a progressive neuro-degenerative disease including:
multiple sclerosis
muscular dystrophy
ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Parkinson’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease
spina bifida
spinal cord injuries
non-recovering stroke
a homeowner, tenant or living with family
an Indigenous person living off- or on-reserve
within the income guidelines listed at the site.

Curb guards  any part of a path that has a gradient exceeding a slope of 1:20 is recommended to have a curb
guard of at least 75 mm (3″) to prevent the wheelchair’s guide wheels from falling off the walkway
where the drop exceeds 75 mm
Door  up to 36” (914 mm) wide; minimum 32” wide
 required due to widening of existing doorways
 max $2,000 for materials and installation
 standard steel type doors
 storm door removal to permit easier access to the residence is eligible
 reversal of door swing to permit easier access to the residence is eligible
 creation of a doorway to a deck or where a ramp is or will be constructed is eligible
Landing pads  may be upper or lower
 manual wheelchair: up to 60”x60” (1524 mm x 1524 mm)
 centre drive wheelchair: up to 72″ x 96″ (1828 mm x 2438 mm)
 rear wheel drive wheelchair: up to 96″ x 96″ (2438 mm x 2438 mm)
Porch lift with
 purchase/installation of new porch lift required for access to residence is eligible
 purchase/installation of a used porch lift required for access to residence (if, RAMP, or a federal
program or a private funding group {e.g. Easter Seals, MD Society, MS Society} has not previously
funded the porch lift, stair or platform lift)
 construction of a concrete pad/base (consisting of concrete, metal, or wooden pressure treated
products) for a porch lift is eligible
 construction of an enclosure/roof designed to shelter the porch lift is eligible
the RAMP program recommends the purchase of new mechanical equipment (e.g., interior and
exterior stair lifts; exterior porch lifts)
 exterior porch lifts must have an upper deck landing that is level and at least 60″ x 60″ (1500 mm x
1500 mm) with a rail of 36″ (920 mm) in height
 all exterior porch lifts must include a winter package if they are to be installed outside the residence
24 Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) | Guidelines and Criteria
o a winter package is unnecessary if the lift is to be installed inside a garage
 if the upper deck has stairs used by foot pedestrians as well as the applicant, a locking gate is
necessary to prevent the applicant from accidentally falling off the steps.
 the deck pad must be a permanent material
 self-installed porch lifts are not funded by RAMP (all platform and porch lifts must be installed by a
certified vendor and/or representative)
Ramp  wheelchair type only
 handrails with a height of 915 + 50 mm (36″ + 2″) are mandatory for all above surface
decks and ramps
 RAMP will fund only one entrance at one residence for access and egress; on occasion, a
temporary entrance ramp may be approved if the landlord, condominium association, or housing
cooperative does not approve a permanent modification to the property
 exterior ramps and landings may be funded to a maximum of $45 per square foot, ramp railings to
a maximum of $24 per lineal foot and stair railings to a maximum of $20 per riser per side
 threshold ramps may be required on existing decks if the exterior entrance is not flush with the deck
o a ramp modification should provide access from exterior ground level to the entrance door
threshold level
o threshold risers or ramps may be required and must be part of the modification
 latching gates to lift entrances on exterior landings and decks are necessary to prevent falls
o if the stair entrance is adjacent to the exterior lift, a swing gate or an additional gate may be
necessary to prevent falls
o the use of chains across the lift or stair entrance is not sufficient
 RAMP will not fund yard cleanup in order to install an exterior wheelchair ramp, exterior porch lift or
exterior walkway
 the ramp must have:
o a slope of not more than 1:12 (1 inch of height to 12 inches of length), although a slope of
1:16 (1 inch of height to 16 inches of length) to 1:20 (1 inch of height to 20 inches of length)
is preferred, complete with handrails
o a latching gate is required for upper landings at the entrance to the porch lift and a latching
gate is required at the step entrance (swing gates are acceptable) to prevent falls
o handrails on both sides that must be continuously graspable along the entire length and
 a circular cross-section with an outside diameter of not less than 1.2″ (30 mm) and
not more than 1.7″ (43 mm)
 a non-circular cross-section with a graspable portion that has a perimeter not less
than 3.9″ (100 mm) and not more than 4.9″ (125 mm) and whose largest crosssectional diameter is not more than 1.8″ (45 mm)
 a width of not less than 36″ (914 mm) between the handrails
 the overall ramp length does not include the upper and lower landings; the overall length refers to
the length of the ramp and possible interior rest level (flat) landings (platforms)
 for manual wheelchair and walker users, the upper landing or level areas at the exterior door
entrance to the home must not be less than 60″ x 60″ (1500 mm x 1500 mm), and if a lower (at the
bottom of the ramp) landing is required, it must be 60″ x 60″
Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) | Guidelines and Criteria 25
 a resting point at intervals of no more than 29.5’ (9000 mm); however, if the applicant has weak
upper body strength, rest platforms are recommended every 20’ (6096 mm) and the slope required
may be increased to 1:16 or 1:20
 a resting point or landing platform with a minimum surface area of 48″ (1200 mm) in length and at
least the width of the ramp
 a level area of at least 48″ x 48″ (1200 mm x 1200 mm) if the ramp makes a 90 degree turn
 a level area of at least 60″ x 60″ (1500 mm x 1500 mm) if a ramp makes a 180 degree turn
 a permanent, firm and slip-resistant surface and a high (rail) guard set at 36″ (915 mm) ± 2″ (50
 if the wheelchair is a rear drive powered chair, the level areas at the top and bottom of the ramp
may need to be 96″ x 96″ (2438 mm x2438 mm); or if the power wheelchair is a centre drive, a 72″
x 96″ (1.8 m x 2.4 m) upper landing may be required
 ramps, landings and horizontal rails under 24″ in height must be constructed of pressure treated
wood products, aluminum or steel as per the type supplied by local vendors in a metal component
package; used as per RAMP guidelines
 edge protection must be incorporated into all ramp designs whose sides are not adjacent to a wall
 modular aluminum/steel ramps and landings may also be used for exterior wheelchair ramp
projects if the total height does not exceed 24″
 the use of pressure treated wood, synthetic, cedar, steel and/or aluminum material is mandatory
under program guidelines
o he use of pressure treated wood is recommended for all exterior wood ramps and 24″ x 72″
(609 mm x 1828 mm) planks are recommended instead of pressure treated wood sheets
for ramp and landing surfaces to allow for better drainage of surface moisture
 pressure treated wood is not required for the construction of a landing, rails and/or a ramp if the
ramp is being installed in an enclosed building on a cement floor
 the use of non-treated wood products for all exterior modifications – wheelchair ramps, landings,
stairs, porch lift pads or walkways – is not allowed under the RAMP guidelines
 all ramps, landings (and rails) exceeding 24″ in height must be constructed of pressure treated
wood products (planks recommended over plywood sheets) with vertical picket railings (does not
include skirting for decks, landings or ramps)
 plastic material, post caps with lighting, aluminum or wrought iron rails on wood ramps and
landings, as well as imitation wood products, cable, custom glass, iron, Plexiglas, synthetic
coverings, vinyl, stainless steel, tile, et cetera, will not be funded by RAMP
 additionally, the following questions need to be addressed:
o determine how high the existing door or landing is off the ground
o is threshold (height of the entrance) level with the deck/landing
o are there stairs inside the entry door
o is the width of the ramp 914 mm (36″) or more i.e. 1.2 m (4 feet)
o is there a railing
o is there non-slip material
o is the ramp painted or stained
o what is at the bottom of the ramp i.e. a concrete pad for proper wheelchair access
 RAMP ratios must follow ratio guidelines: see Attachment 1 at the end of this document
26 Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) | Guidelines and Criteria
Sidewalk  RAMP will fund sidewalk repair or replacement only for sidewalks that connect to accessible
entrances, ramps or lifts
 construction of or replacing existing walkways with wide walkways with slip resistant surfaces, and
with no abrupt changes in level to provide access to the street, entrances and other outside areas
 widening of existing walkways (as above)
 repairs or alterations to existing walkways; to promote wheelchair accessibility
 existing sidewalk must be wheelchair accessible and the recommended width
 sidewalks cannot exceed a slope of 1:12, and are recommended to have a maximum of 1:16 or
1:20 slope ratio
 sidewalks should be constructed from continuous concrete
o pre-cast units (brick pavers, concrete slabs, tiles) are not recommended; however, if they
are used, all joints should be as flush as possible and the upper limit of the joints must not
exceed 0.25″ (6 mm)
 exterior walks for personal residences (e.g. single family, duplexes, and four-plexes) should be at
least 43″ (1100 mm) wide, forming a continuous plane uninterrupted by steps or abrupt changes in
level that is part of a wheelchair access system to the residence
Site preparation  for a porch lift only (pads may be permanent or temporary and include walkway access if
Stair lift with
 exterior stair lifts may be applicable to a residence that cannot accept an exterior platform lift
because of restricted access
 this type may be less costly in some instances because some residences may require extensive
site preparations to accommodate a platform lift
Survey  if required to determine a real property report, or to estimate the installation of an exterior lift, ramp,
walkway, and/or site preparation costs
Threshold strips
 at entry door
 recommended maximum threshold height 13 mm (approximately 0.5 inch)
 the installation of bevelled strips on either side of a threshold to provide manoeuvrability of a
wheelchair over the threshold
 removal of thresholds s recommended
Walkways  if part of an access system: 40″ (1016 mm) in width is recommended for personal residences (refer
to Barrier-Free Guidelines for multi-unit residences)
 exterior walkways must be part of an access system in order to be eligible
 the residence must have a flat entrance, an exterior wheelchair ramp, an exterior porch lift or
exterior stair lift
Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) | Guidelines and Criteria 27
Eligible Interior Modifications & Costs:
Modification Information
Bathtub cut-out
 to a maximum cost of $850
 must have a work surface that is not less than 34″ (865 mm) above the floor with a knee space that
o 30″ (760 mm) wide
o 27″ (685 mm) high
o 19″ (485 mm) deep
 to allow access and ease of use for the applicant
Bathroom fixtures  if being replaced with handicapped fixtures
 lever type faucets, with or without thermostatic controls, for washbasins and bathtubs
Bath lift  purchase and installation
 cost may be shared with AADL or fully covered by RAMP
 may be funded along with ceiling tracks where a demonstrated need is identified because of
attendant issues or family member is unable to cope with movement or access within a home
 to replace space lost due to modifications of the bathroom
Bathroom sink  must not include a vanity with doors or shelving, but should be either a pedestal or a wall mounted
 the sink may have a countertop but it must be wheelchair accessible with knee space beneath and
exposed plumbing must be insulated to prevent burns
 could include the provision of new space under the washbasin
Ceiling track
 for bath lifts, bedroom lifts, exercise rooms, hallways, living rooms or stairwells
 may be funded along with bath lifts where a demonstrated need is identified because of attendant
issues or family member is unable to cope with movement or access within a home
 RAMP does not cover funding for slings or lift motors unless not covered by AADL
Door and door
 includes kick plates
 maximum cost of $2,000 for materials and installation
 entryway along a barrier free path must have a clear opening of at least 33.5” (850 mm) and a
corridor width of at least 48″ (1200 mm) when turning a 90-degree corner
o if the doorway entrance is 36″ (915 mm) clear, then the corridor width may be 36″ (920
mm); minimum head clearance is 82” (2100 mm)
28 Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) | Guidelines and Criteria
 levered handles are preferred; new hardware should be installed between 35” – 42” above the
finished floor
Door hinges  swing-away hinges that permit a door to provide wider access without requiring a new door or
Door thresholds  it is preferred that raised thresholds in doorways be avoided
o if necessary, the door threshold shall not exceed 1/2″ (13 mm) in height above the finished
floor surface and must be beveled to provide a smooth transition from area to area
Electrical  the wiring and installation of new electrical outlets to accommodate new adaptations (i.e. lift)
 provision of adequate lighting for completed modifications
Entrance hallway
 to facilitate adequate turning space and clear door swing for wheelchair access
Floor covering
 from carpet to laminate, linoleum, vinyl, or non-glaze ceramic tile
 for manual wheelchairs or walker users
 not covered on stairs or in closets
 maximum allowance is $60/sq. yard or $6.67/sq. foot. Includes the cost of removing existing
flooring, installation, underlay, sub-floor preparation, and labour.
 up to 25% may be added for waste and pattern matching
Grab bars  to permit safe and comfortable use of a toilet, shower, and/or bathtub
 applicants are encouraged to contact AADL first
Hand rails  for stairwells and along interior walls
 handrails at an appropriate height to give the applicant additional stability are also allowable
 handrail costs in corridors at a height appropriate for the applicant
High rise toilet  should be a minimum 17″ ± 1″ (430 mm + 30 mm) from the floor
 purchase and installation covered
Landings  to allow a 360 degree turn-around space for the applicant, wheelchair accessible landings:
o 1524 mm x 1524 mm or 5′ x 5′
o 1828 mm x 2438 mm or 6′ x 8′
o 2438 mm x 2438 mm or 8′ x 8′
o non-slip surfaces are necessary to give the wheelchair an additional rough surface to
reduce slipping (may be painted, adhesive strips, or sand imprinted)
o the existing landing may need to be widened to allow a proper turn around or the door
swing may need to be reversed
Painting  only as part of an eligible modification
Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) | Guidelines and Criteria 29
Plumbing  for modification of an existing bathroom
 includes re-routing piping to accommodate modifications
 enclosing or insulating of hot water lines to protect the applicant from burns is eligible (i.e. new
space, alcove under a sink)
Pocket door
 installation of a pocket door in an interior doorway
Shower stalls  inside measurement should not be less than 35” deep x 60” wide (900mm x 1500 mm)
 if the applicant is a wheelchair user, the flooring should have a slip-resistant finish and a beveled
threshold entrance of either a 1/2″ (13 mm) or a compression entrance lip not more than 1″ or (26
mm) in height to accommodate a wheelchair commode
 if the applicant is using a walker (and does not use a wheelchair on any basis), and/or has
progressive MS, progressive MD, and/or progressive COPD, and does not experience difficulty in
lifting their legs, the shower entrance lip may be up to a maximum height of 4″ (52 mm)
 the clear floor space at the entrance to the shower must have a minimum space of 35″ (900 mm)
and be the same width, 60″ (1500mm), as the shower
o fixtures are permitted to intrude into the space but must not restrict access to the shower
 shower/wet room curtains, swing away shower rods, glass shower doors, seats, grab bars and/or
hand held shower sprays may be included as part of the costs for the shower project
Stair lift with
 eligible interior stair lift requests include:
o stair lift with electrical connection (self-installs are not eligible)
o some stairs require lifts that are curved
 if it is necessary to reduce the cost, it may be possible to install two straight lifts if
the user is capable of transferring to the other lift
Threshold ramp  between rooms
Wall guards  as part of eligible modifications
o recommended materials: stainless steel, Kydex (high performance plastic), or Plexiglas
o should be a material that can withstand gouges from wheelchairs
o paneling, ceramic tile, arborite, and burlap are not suitable materials
Wheel-in shower  purchase/installation of a wheel-in shower or enlarging of an existing shower is eligible up to
recommended size: 900 mm x 1500 mm (3′ x 5′ minimum)
 shower/wet room curtains, swing away shower rods, glass shower doors, seats, grab bars and/or
hand held shower sprays may be included as part of the costs for the shower project
accessible vanity
 a sink top surface height of 30″ ± 2″ (760 mm ± 50 mm)
30 Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) | Guidelines and Criteria
Ineligible Modifications
 additions
 air conditioning (including removal)
 alarm systems
 appliances (purchase, replacement, or repair)
 asbestos removal
 basement repair (including weeping tile)
 bathroom vanities/sinks with cabinets (not wheelchair accessible)
 bathtubs (purchase, replacement or repair)
 beds
 cabinets
 carpet repair or replacement
 carport/garage
 ceiling track slings, motors or lifters
 closets (including closet organizers)
 decks (unless a ramp landing –see landing pads)
 door or door repair (unless a wider door is required- see doors)
 driveways
 drywall repair or replacement
 eaves or eaves troughs
 electrical (unless listed in electrical –interior)
 fencing
 floor repair/false flooring
 foundation repair
 furniture
 furnace/filters
 grab bars (unless part of an eligible modification)
 garage repair
 garden, patio, french doors, storm doors, and/or sidelights
 handrail installation for exterior steps or sidewalks
 hot water tanks
 humidifiers
 insulation
 in-floor heating
 kitchen modifications, repairs, and/or renovations
 landing roof
 landscaping
 laminate floor covering repair or replacement
 lifts and lift chairs (bath or bed lifts)
 mail slots
 medical alert equipment
 mobility aides (including canes, smart rails, support poles, walkers and wheelchair purchases, replacement or repairs)
 mold removal
Residential Access Modification Program (RAMP) | Guidelines and Criteria 31
 mouldings
 painting (unless part of an eligible modification)
 parking pad repair or installation
 pergola purchase, repair or installation
 porch repair or replacement
 patient lifts (battery powered)
 plumbing purchase, repair or replacement (unless part of an eligible modification)
 ramp roofs
 repairs/restoration of properties to pre-modification conditions (including removal of equipment)
 roof repairs
 saunas
 scooters
 secondary entrances (ramp covers access to one property entrance only)
 security bars
 security peepholes
 security systems (burglar alarms, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, intercom systems, medical alert, smoke detectors
 sidewalk upgrades (unless for repair or replacement of sidewalks that connect to accessible entrances, ramps or lifts)
 siding/skirting
 stairs or steps (except when needed to relocate existing stairs or steps for installation of a ramp or porch lift)
 swimming pools
 standard height toilets
 utility system installation, replacement or repair (cistern, electrical, plumbing, sewage, water)
 wheelchair batteries
 whirlpools
 window installation, repairs or replacements
 window casement installation, painting, repair, or replacement



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