Access-A-Hut's Blog

September 19, 2009

Beware of scope creep! 10 by 25 house

Filed under: Configuration and space ideas — by accessahut @ 9:35 am

We are talking with some folks who know zoning and who know accessible. After not being able to get a drink of water or go to the bathroom in our house, I (Deena) need to have this house accessible to all. (As a total aside here, when I first collapsed, I lived in a ground floor flat, with no room for the wheelchair. I’d get to the door, fling myself in, make tea and dinner from the hotplate on the floor and either sleep on the floor with a blanket or lift myself up into the bed. I never ever not even never want to go back to that nightmarish existence.)

But if we do a stationary house, we’d have more room. We couldn’t move into a backyard or an assisted living then. But…we’d probably be building equity even in these hard times. IF we needed to, we could then sell this one and build another one (with the hardwon knowledge of experience…) Accessible housing is nearly impossible to find and yes, even though it is so tiny, we’d probably be able to sell quickly to someone whose only other choice is life in an institution. Or even to someone who likes an airy, quirky house that won’t take much to maintain…

So here is an idea for a 10 by 25 foot house that would have all the floor space needed even for a larger chair. (I’m tiny and in a teenage wheelchair–15 inches across when the adult sizes start at 16).
What if we went with a 10 by 25?

The ramps would have railings.

The orange shelves by the door would be shelves on the “inside” and grab bars on the outside, so basically the railings would continue unbroken from the outside of the house until you are safely in the house.

The orange shelves on the wall side would be moveable. There would be shelves built into the walls as well. This provides 2 sets of shelving, so we can keep our stuff that we don’t use that often in the back one. It also allows us to move the shelves around the desk if I need to work and MaJe needs to sleep. So that works for our good days.

Both doors would have ramps and we would put some bamboo or light ceiling over them so that they did not get icey in the winter.

The side door would have a cat flap and open into an enclosed area for pets.

We could have a porch/deck so that the warm southern sun could get in in the winter, but we could then close the windows/have shaded windows so that the sun does not bake us in the summer. We might use bamboo or something light as an “awning” that could be removed seasonally.

The awning on the side would allow us to park the car without having to scrape off the ice the next morning and would let us get into the house without going through snow. (I remember once we were coming home from dinner with friends and I got so exhausted that I tripped in the snow and could not get up at all. Had MaJe not been there I would have frozen…)

The light purple would be a loft. We could use this loft for storage, and have a ladder coming from it. We could also put a bed in there so that if we absolutely had to have an able bodied someone in overnight (for an emergency) we could. We’ve had a couple of those emergency situations where either I or MaJe needed help or even just watchers overnight…. And if I go and lose half my blood ever again, we’ll need to have someone able bodied there to watch over us until my ‘crits are ok again.

We’d put the loft over the “work” part of the house and leave one bed out and our desks/lounge chair out so that would have a high ceiling. That way, MaJe could lie in bed and look at the stars from a skylight…

1 Comment »

  1. Deena forgot to mention that our knowledgeable friend also thinks we’ll have better change at getting the variance for our undersized house approved if we have more than 100 sf per person. I think she may even have informed us that there is a code requirement of 100sf person or some such thing. I was too tired from eating apples and honey for new years to be paying attention to the house designing taking place on the coffee table!

    Comment by accessahut — September 19, 2009 @ 10:44 pm |Reply

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