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Breaking down architectural barriers in a B&B with a homelift

Breaking down architectural barriers in your Bed and Breakfast: how to do it?
In countries with a strong vocation for tourism, accommodation facilities are very common. In recent years the Bed and Breakfast formula has definitely been on the rise. However, not all structures are accessible: how can architectural barriers be easily overcome?

Both in the main cities and in the most hidden places, B&Bs are a valid solution to discover the main historical and artistic sights in comfort and inexpensively. Unlike traditional hotels, B&Bs are usually set up in private flats, country houses or – in any case – in buildings designed for residential purposes.
This is the reason why many of these activities may be precluded to people with disabilities, elderly or people with reduced mobility persons. Architectural barriers such as ramps of stairs, too narrow corridors or unsuitable toilets may preclude important opportunities for both operators and visitors. Let’s see how to solve this problem.

Flights of stairs: how to overcome them with homelifts

If the flights of stairs to the accommodation consist of a few steps (usually up to four or five), a ramp, even a temporary one, can be considered. In the case of more demanding height differences, a homelift can be a valuable alternative.
The homelift is a lift system specially designed for small buildings, few-storey blocks of flats or detached houses. Unlike conventional lifts, it is much easier to install, does not require specific building permits, is cheaper and quieter. The cabin, moved through an electric or hydraulic system, can be installed indoors or outdoors without any problem without the need for a pit. An excavation of just a few centimetres is sufficient.
Another difference not to be overlooked is the lift motor: while traditional lifts require a special room, homelifts mount the motor directly on the car. There is therefore no need to adapt the basement or roof: in other words, uncomplicated comfort. The installation time is also very convenient: in 3-4 weeks the work will be completed and – immediately – guests and operators alike will enjoy new-found freedom.

Is it compulsory to remove architectural barriers for Bed and Breakfasts?

Many managers rightly wonder whether it is compulsory to remove all architectural barriers. Unlike hotels, which since 1989 are obliged by a national law to have certain areas and rooms accessible, Bed and Breakfasts are regulated locally.
This means that each region, being the local tourism authority, decides on the rules to be respected. In most cases, non-accessibility is tolerated in old buildings, built before 1989 and never renovated; whereas – if major modernisation work is carried out – the removal of architectural barriers is necessary.
Our advice is therefore to inform yourself on the regional tourism portals: all the features that a B&B must have will be indicated. In any case, investing in accessibility offers an incredible economic return, in addition to the aspect of inclusiveness, which is really important to consider regardless of the economic side.

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