we are about to begin an accessable remodel to our first floor.  The IRS allows for deduction of all remodel for accessability, so our lundry room, new bath, ramps, lift etc.  The dedcution is after the 7.5% AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) is exceeded and if it does not increase the value of our home.


We are looking at a 5 digit deduction which and I fear the IRS will wind up auditing us.  I plan to have an appraisal before and after done.  Has anyone gone through this?  Any words of wisdom is greatly appreciated.


Best Regards,


Jim Dunlap

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Hi Jim,
We document thoroughly. My son's are 31 & 34. We've lived in 3 houses before we restored our barn and made the downstairs totally accessible.

We started with making ramps and modifying bathrooms: first with higher toilets, repositioning toilet drains to accommodate a Hoyer lift. As my sons needed space for their wheelchairs in the bathroom, I found a house that had 4' hallways and bigger bathrooms. It still cost $9000 for the modifications to their bathroom: 17" toilet, sink cabinet with drawers on the left side side and knee hole on the right, roll in shower with ceramic tile to ceiling.

We started small, but expenses for modifications and disease related expenses increased as their abilities decreased. Sadly, I did have one other source of documentation to show need. Most of the changes have occurred after the divorce, so DISEASE RELATED EXPENSES were included court documentation, which I had as back up. Fortunately, I believe the thoroughness and consistency in the approach my accountant & I have taken In the 21 years since the divorce, has been effective.

I hope this answer isn't too round-about! In my experience, additional appraisals weren't necessary until I sold each house. My advice is to keep all receipts and good records. At that time, I had to justify modifications and I included letters from the pediatrician at the Child Muscle Clinic my children attended that verified my sons needs. I developed a spread sheet that was helpful to my accountant (and also in family court..)

Another thought: I contacted a Rehab Hospital and had an Accessibility Evaluation completed on the residence. There was a charge for the evaluation, but each room, entrance, door width, threshold, etc. was examined for use with a manual AND a power wheelchair. This report was GREAT! They clearly stated what had to be done for safety and accessibility. I actually widened doorways to the bathroom, 3 bedrooms and a doorway to the family room. (Carpeting is a curse for manual wheelchair users.) This type of assessment could
be more useful at this time than an appraisal.
Good luck, Laurie
Hi Laurie,

We have a 5-year old son diagnosed with DMD > 2 years ago. We are in the process of designing a new home to be built soon and wanted to make sure it is completely accessible for our son now and as he grows up.

Would you know who can help us with the details of such a home?


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