Access-A-Hut's Blog

September 16, 2009

Accessible design

Filed under: Accessibility — by accessahut @ 7:50 am

Here is a design from someone in an electric wheelchair.

He does confirm that houses that are accessible are at a premium and don’t stay on the market long–so all you new builders take note. If you really wanted your place to sell, you’d make it accessible! He also confirms what we’ve been figuring out–making a place truly accessible means almost gutting it and starting over (or at least in the 2 areas this really counts–kitchen and bath…)

“My sunroom faces due south to take full advantage of the sunlight. This serves two purposes, 1) I have a well lit and warm sunroom in the morning and in the afternoon and 2) I can use the sunroom as a solar collector for passive solar heating. Passive solar heating uses natural sunlight to warm your house. It doesn’t involve solar panels or water reservoirs as heat sinks. All you need are windows where they can capture the sunlight during the day and less windows in the north where they will lose heat to the outside during the night. The principle is like a car with its windows rolled up on a sunny day. A good book about passive solar heating is “The Passive Solar House” by J. Kachadorian. ”

Use PVC pipe for plumbing and leave leg room for wheelchair access at the sink.

“If you can maintain universal design principles as long as they don’t inconvenience you, then the house’s attractiveness and thus, resale value will be greater to potential buyers with different disabilities. ”

For a roll in shower ” The concrete subfloor in the bathroom was 1″ lower than the rest of the house to allow the mortar and tile of the bathroom threshold to be flush with the bedroom carpet.”

“Grab bars are very important, if not for you personally then to meet ADA building codes. It is a small matter to install 2″ x 10-12″ boards between the studs around the bathroom walls during construction.”

“Tile, laminate, and vinyl flooring work well with wheelchair users. I recommend those types for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and entry ways. As you know wheelchairs can track a lot of mud and water during rainy days. For the accessible bathroom with a roll-in shower 2″ tile works really well. 1″ tile has more grout that needs to be cleaned, in my opinion. Too large a tile and you may not have enough grout to provide sufficient traction on wet floor for ablebodied persons. ”

“make sure flooring installers make a seamless transition between different flooring types in your home. For wheelchair users, it’s annoying and totally avoidable to have a threshold or ‘bump’ between rooms.

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