The Green Guide to NDIS home modifications

The NDIS will fund home modifications for people with disability. These home modifications make it easier and safer to get around at home. Home modifications must meet safety standards and design guidelines, and some home modifications offer higher sustainability benefits that others. Environmental sustainability is often forgotten within the disability sector, but we should all be trying to use our natural resources as effectively as possible.

This article outlines how you can consider the environment and sustainability when planning for and carrying out home modifications.

The NDIS home modifications process

The NDIS provides funding and support for people with disabilities to ensure they can achieve their goals in life and remain as independent as possible. Some key services provided by the NDIS, such as home modifications, help to promote home safety and comfort.

To organise modifications at you home, first discuss your requirements with your NDIS local area coordinator, or your NDIS plan manager. Your NDIS support staff will undertake an assessment to determine which modifications would best suit your unique needs. Home modifications must be related to your disability, and deemed to be both reasonable and necessary.

Funding for the modifications is then allocated on your NDIS plan. Once you have an approved NDIS plan in place for your modifications, you can select a provider and the builders to carry out the works.

Complex home modifications

Under the NDIS guidelines, complex home modifications are changes that are significant and change the structure of the home. Complex home modifications cost more than $20,000. Examples of complex home modifications include:

  • major bathroom renovations

  • major kitchen renovations to change the layout, move or replace cupboards and benchtops for easier access

  • entry and access modifications such as widening doors to enable wheelchair access

  • the installation of hoists

  • upgrades to several areas of the house

An occupational therapist who has the proper qualifications as an NDIS home modifications assessor will need to be involved in assessing and designing complex home modifications. Read more about the role of occupational therapists in home modifications here.

You must also provide quote for the works to the NDIS for jobs that involve structural changes.

Minor modifications

Minor home modifications are non structural changes that improve access and mobility. Minor modifications can assist an NDIS participant to maintain their independence.

Minor home modifications :

  • are generally straightforward

  • do not alter the structure

  • are low risk

  • affect only one or two areas of the home

  • cost less than $20,000 in total

Under the NDIS guidelines, minor home modifications are allocated in two categories. Category A minor home modifications cost less than $10,000 while Category B minor modifications cost between $10,000 and $20,000.

Examples of modifications that NDIS funding can be used for include:

  • non-slip flooring solutions to prevent trips and falls

  • grab rails, handrails and stair rails

  • assistive technology, home automations and smart technologies to manage the lighting, temperature or security systems

  • voice activated technologies and charging points for wheelchairs

Guidelines for modifications

There are many guidelines and regulations that inform best practice green home modifications. Many people can be involved in designing home modification solutions, especially when the modifications are complex in nature. Architects, builders and designers may all play a part in creating your home.

The Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) design standard outlines the requirements for new disability accommodation builds.

Sustainable home modifications Australia

Energy costs are rising and many of us are looking for ways to reduce our energy consumption. Reducing the amount of energy used at home also has wider environmental benefit including a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Many NDIS participants are looking for long term housing modifications and solutions that will help achieve environmental sustainability. Participants have the right to live in a healthy, well designed and efficient home. More efficient homes mean lower energy costs in the long run. Sustainable homes offer a more consistent temperature all year long. Natural light can help create a feeling of space and promote wellbeing.

Passive design for people with disability

Passive design is the name of a type of home design that focuses on minimising the use of energy while making a comfortable and healthy environment.

Using passive design techniques in NDIS modifications can mean installing:

  • efficient windows that help regulate and manage the temperature

  • assistive technology that monitors airflow and movement

  • effective glazing to ensure that air doesn’t escape

  • quality materials that hold warmth

  • proper insulation to help keep you cool in summer and warm in winter

All of these elements can be considered within the scope of complex home modifications.

Remember, home modifications must be related to your disability. You can not apply for funding for green initiatives at your home just because you want to save money on your energy bills. However, if modifications are being made at your home, you can ask your designer, builder or architecture to factor in green solutions.

Green choices in home modifications

Green alternatives are available for most house and building components including:

  • external walls

  • internal walls and partitions

  • roofs

  • ground floors and upper floors

  • windows

  • bathroom fittings

  • insulation

  • landscaping

  • floor finishes

Nursed Care for home modifications

Nursed Care is here to help you live independently. We provide a range of services to support you with daily tasks, for example:

  • personal hygiene and personal care

  • social support and transport

  • medication and health support

  • domestic assistance

  • accommodation and respite

We also provide a high quality home maintenance and home modification service to assist participants with disability to live safely and comfortably. We will help you improve your health, live your best life and achieve your goals.

Nursed Care for complex NDIS funded home modifications

We can help you scope and plan your home modifications, and prepare for your NDIS home modification assessment. We will listen to your preferences and take into account your specific needs. Nursed Care can take care of all of the elements of the modifications process, from planning, to building and completion.

We can give you advice and guidance around:

  • suitable providers

  • example accessibility designs

  • green solutions and options

  • modifications in line with your budget

  • modifications funding and process

  • solutions to address your safety concerns

Contact us today for a chat about your ideas and wish list for a greener, more efficient and safer home, that enhances accessibility and promotes independence.

Related questions

NDIS participants are not automatically eligible to access funding for home modifications. NDIS participants must meet eligibility criteria to be able to access these types of supports.

NDIS funded home modifications are changes made to a participant’s home, to improve mobility, access and overall quality of life. If you are not sure if you are eligible for NDIS funded home modifications, check in with your favourite Nursed Care staff member, NDIS support coordinator or your local NDIS office.

If you are particularly concerned about sourcing and using environmentally friendly options in your home modifications, you should always ask a potential provider about their sustainability policies and guidelines. You can enquire about the materials used and any efficiency or green ratings the products may have.

Before selecting a building provider, you may also wish to ask them about any recent experience with NDIS home modifications. Many providers also publish customer testimonials on their website.

In some cases, choosing a green option for materials for your home modification can be funded will not incur an extra cost. However, in some cases, passive design materials and features may go beyond what can be covered by the NDIS. In these cases, you have the option to pay additional funds to have your chosen materials used. You will need to create a list of all the materials used in your budget.

Need qualified care?

At Nursed, we offer a full range of care and disability support services, assisting you to live the life you want to live. Contact us today.

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