The Dorset Accessible Homes Service is locally based with offices in Dorchester and Blandford Forum. It works on behalf of Dorset County Council and is available to anyone in the Dorset County Council area.
As well as providing practical help with home adaptations, repairs and improvements, the service offers free advice, support and information on:
- checking whether you are entitled to any financial help
- your housing options
- deciding on home adaptations that might help you
- carrying out minor repairs
- making your home more energy efficient
If you need a home improvement or adaptation to your home, the Dorset Accessible Homes Service can help you:
- decide exactly what work you want done to your home and prepare drawings and schedules of work. Typical jobs include door widening, installing hand rails and bathroom adaptations, insulation improvements, roofing, replacement windows, damp proofing and rewiring
- obtain prices, advise you on reliable contractors and inspect works on site
- get information on the different ways of paying for the work, including grants from your council, home insulation grants and charitable assistance, etc.
The service will then manage the process for you. This involves everything from advising on options, deciding the work to be completed, designing the work, selecting and appointing a contractor, managing quotations, obtaining landlord permissions, obtain planning permissions, overseeing the work on site, snagging and provision of warranty information and advice on looking after the adaptation.
Depending on your need and eligibility to access different sources of funding, it might be that you are asked to make a contribution towards the cost of major works. This will be explained and is on a case-by-case basis.
It can be very difficult to get small repairs and improvements carried out at a reasonable cost by a reliable contractor. The Dorset Accessible Homes Service can do this work for you. The operators are reliable and DBS (previously CRB) checked for your peace of mind. Examples of work that can be carried out include:
- security improvements such as locks, key safes, door chains, etc.
- minor joinery work
- minor plumbing repairs such as changing tap washers, cistern washers, ball valves etc.
- fitting grab rails and small ramps
- minor electrical work such as changing light bulbs, fuses, etc.
- fixing shelving and assembling flat pack furniture
Charges for work will be explained before work is undertaken. Anyone can contact the service directly.
If the repair is to a rented property, the landlord/housing association will need to be contacted first to make sure they are happy for work to be done. The service will do this for you, or you may prefer to go directly to your landlord yourself.
The Dorset Accessible Homes Service will help those who are thinking about moving from their home into a residential care home.
The advice and support given is free, although costs will be incurred for services such as removal companies, solicitors, etc. The service may be able to access funding or grants to help you with these costs.
The service will assign a member of staff to help support you in the process of finding out what is available, planning the move, getting trustworthy removal contractors and arranging transfer of utilities.
Customer services opening hours:
8.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday
Service Centre Manager: Richard Pearce
2A Sunrise Business Park
Higher Shaftesbury Road
Tel: 0330 003 0010