The accessibility of buildings or housing to “Persons with Reduced Mobility” is subject to the PMR standard, which is mandatory in public buildings and rental investments. In a detached house, you can also carry out the interior and exterior fittings according to the PMR standard. Everyone is concerned by the possibility of a disability or reduced mobility, you have everything to gain.
1 – Update on the PMR standard: what is it, for whom?
The PMR standard concerns all people with disabilities and brings together texts of French and international laws and regulations.
What is the PMR standard?
In France, the PMR standard refers to all the laws and regulations concerning accessibility for people with reduced mobility. These are also documents from French NF, European EN and international ISO standards. The objective of this standard, which entered into force in 2008, is to allow people to access the path from the outside inside a building.
Who is concerned ?
France now has 12 million people with a visible or invisible, physical or mental disability. Among them, many have difficulty moving around, whether due to a disability, a physical characteristic, a health problem or age. As mobility problems can occur temporarily during life, they actually affect 80% of the population. For example, 2 to 3% of French people of all ages use a wheelchair, temporarily or permanently. Accessibility to housing and to private or public buildings is a major problem. In fact, 65% of people with reduced mobility complain about this daily difficulty.
For whom is it compulsory?
The PMR standard is a legal obligation for any establishment open to the public (ERP) and for rental property investments. Since 2009, the Construction and Housing Code (CCH) also obliges all new buildings and individual housing to comply with the PMR standard.
- ERPs must be accessible to everyone, not only people with reduced mobility but also people with any type of disability. Shops, theaters, hotels, restaurants, places of culture, public buildings…
- Any private construction intended for rental, including seasonal, must comply with the PMR standard. A technical inspection is carried out at the end of the work to certify that the accommodations are in compliance.
- New individual housing are subject to the PMR standard. In the event of non-compliance with the standards, the penalties are criminal and can range from a simple fine (€45,000 anyway) to imprisonment.
2 – Why fit out my house according to the PMR standard?
As we have understood, everyone can be affected one day or another by a reduction in their mobility. A broken leg, a pregnancy, the result of an operation… There are plenty of opportunities to be forced to move with difficulty, with a cane, crutches, a walker or a wheelchair. The difficulties which arise are of two kinds. First, people with a permanent disability have difficulty finding suitable accommodation. But people becoming “PRM” also find themselves in difficulty in their own unsuitable housing.
Gain in comfort
In a detached house, compliance with the PMR standard is an excellent idea. You can thus accommodate anyone, including those with a motor disability or suffering from a loss of mobility. And what is valid for others is valid for you too. Whatever your age or your state of health, an adapted house will always be easier to live in.
Value your home
Know that a house fitted out according to the PMR standard finds a buyer more easily during resale. More comfortable for everyone, the PMR house is particularly appreciated by buyers wishing to settle there permanently. The more suitable the house, the more potential buyers there are. Whether we have to live with a disability or the loss of autonomy linked to age, everyone aspires to a comfortable life at all times of life.
Take advantage of the tax credit
If you decide to have your house fitted out, the cost of the work can be greatly reduced by public aid. For equipment for the elderly or disabled, a tax credit is granted, up to 25% of the amount of expenditure related to PMR standards. And that whether you own or rent, only for your main residence.
Anticipate from the construction
If you want to build a house, this is the right time to introduce the PMR standard. Your builder, provided they are specialized in this area, can easily integrate the desired adaptations into the plan. In a two-storey house, for example, it is easy to provide a completely independent ground floor. Well-placed water points will save you a lot of problems if you are temporarily unable to climb the stairs… Not only will your house be more comfortable, but you will also help to enhance it even before it is built.
3 – How do I fit out my house according to the PMR standard?
Day-to-day accessibility is achieved through the layout of numerous details. This concerns both the exterior and the interior of the house.
The facilities are suitable for people in wheelchairs. Knowing that an armchair measures approximately 75 x 125 cm, we understand that its movement is particularly constrained in an ordinary house.
- The width of the doors must be at least 90 centimeters, with a useful passage (open door) of at least 83 cm.
- The door handles must be easy to handle, whether standing or sitting. In particular, they must be located at a height of between 90 and 130 cm, and at least 40 cm from the wall.
- Corridors should be wide enough. Either we provide a corridor at least 90 cm wide (with widening of the corresponding doors), or we arrange the walls so as to leave angles of 45°.
- The bathroom must be spacious enough to move around easily in a wheelchair. For this, it must be at least 2.20 m wide. It is equipped with a walk-in shower or a bathtub with grab bar, with a space provided for wheelchair access. Likewise, if the bathroom are in the bathroom, a space of 80 to 150 cm is provided between the shower (or bath) and the toilet.
- Independent toilets must be at least 1.50 m wide. A handle must be installed at a height of 75 cm to help the person to get up. The toilet bowl must be 50 cm high. The sink is fixed at 70 cm high and equipped with a tilting mirror.
- In the kitchen as in the bedrooms, 1.50 m of space is provided between the furniture, and 90 cm on each side of the bed for wheelchair access.
- An access ramp (or other arrangement) is provided to cross the threshold of the front door. The same goes for patio doors.
- A path leads to the front door. It must be flat, flat and non-slip, especially if your area is humid. The standard imposes a width of 1.20 m for this path.
- parking space must be on a horizontal surface within 30 m of the house. It is at least 3.30 m wide: 2.50 cm for the vehicle and 80 cm to maneuver the wheelchair around. The path leading to the house should be marked to help people with impaired vision.