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Renovating for Accessibility: When a Project Gets Personal

Posted June 4, 2018

Renovating for accessibility comes with its own set of challenges. When you own a renovation company and that reno project is your own home, it also gets personal. But Amsted co-owner Kirk Haw didn’t shy away from sharing with the Ottawa Citizen how he and the Amsted team transformed his home for his wheelchair-using son.

Kirk’s son has cerebral palsy, which affects his movement and muscle control. By the time he was 8, Kirk knew that changes were needed to his Westboro home to make it fully accessible. He called on the help and advice of business partner and lifelong friend Steve Barkhouse.

Over the course of a year, with Kirk doing as much of the work himself as he could to keep costs down, the house was transformed from a dated choppy layout to an open-concept and inviting contemporary home with an addition, elevator, widened doorways, ramps, plus accessible counters, light switches and showers.

And although the project was done more than a decade ago, the changes have stood the test of time.

Kirk and the Amsted team have since taken what they learned on the project to create other accessible homes, including a new one for Kirk and his family, who have decided it’s time for a new home.

Read more about the story here.