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Thread: Building a New Accessible Home!

  1. #21
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Florida Keys
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger Racing
    Because closet elevators and lifts can be unreliable, and they're also not very fast even when they do work, I'm wondering why so many gimps are building multi-story houses. Is it a space/land issue? Is it a cultural/geographical thing? Meaning that 2 story houses are just what people are used to in their part of the country? Also, for those who are thinking of putting in an elevator or who already have one in their home, do you have a generator in case of a power loss?

    I have a house built on an elevated foundation (reinforced concrete and steel columns and beams) to address the possibility of storm surge associated with tropical cyclones (hurricanes). I like living surrounded by tree tops. It also gives me a lot of covered space underneath the house for vehicles and tools. Zoning would not allow the same sq. ft. spread as a one story.

    My elevator quietly travels at 40 fpm, so it takes a few seconds to go one story. It has proven very reliable. I do have a back-up generator fueled by gasoline. The elevator descends automatically if power is lost. There is a land line phone in the cab.

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Sh0rty
    tigger74 that ramp to basement thing looks sweet. How long would it have to be? I have an elevator in this house and it is a pain in the ass and not always dependable so I don't go downstairs when I am alone. I am looking for ideas for my next place and never thought of something like that.
    Here's my ramp drawing. I'm in a power chair so the slope doesn't bother me so I'm not using the ADA Standard 1" per 12". My ramp will be around 62'. If I can help let me know. I also put a picture of another project I've been working on. This house is being built right now. Going to be a $600,000 plus home when finished.


  3. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
    You are a very gifted architect tigger....that looks like its going to be a beautiful house.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

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  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Sh0rty
    MWhen building again I am leaving the basement unfinished and just putting all that stuff on one floor
    If you don't plan on using the basement, why put one in at all?

    In case of power failure my elevator will go down (it just wont come up)
    But that means that you could get trapped in your basement, right?


  5. #25
    Senior Member Sh0rty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    tigger74- those are great pics, you did an awesome job.

    I am wanting a basement for resale purposes and the possibility of finishing it at a later date when and if I decide to have kids and need more room. I want to leave my options open I guess. Plus all the houses here basically have basements so to not have one feels a little odd ever though that is a dumb reason for having one.

    If powered failed I would be stuck in the basement but I would rather that than being stuck in the middle somewhere. Atleast the other way I can be carried upstairs or bump my way up.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Sh0rty
    I am wanting a basement for resale purposes and the possibility of finishing it at a later date when and if I decide to have kids and need more room. I want to leave my options open I guess.
    Makes sense.

    Plus all the houses here basically have basements so to not have one feels a little odd ever though that is a dumb reason for having one.
    No, I get that. Pretty much what I was saying about how local custom and design can influence one's decisions in this area.


  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by darkeyed_daisy
    You are a very gifted architect tigger....that looks like its going to be a beautiful house.
    I'm not a Architect. I've just did a lot of building before I was hurt and know how things go together. In the last 3 years I've drawn 60 plus Houses and Condo's. All which have been built. I work for A General Contractor that keeps me busy. I wish I got paid as much as a Architect does for my drafting and designing.

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Madison,Wisconsin, USA
    Tigger, looks like you have lots of good ideas. We bought a 35 year old house last year and did a lot of remodeling last year. When looking at houses my thought was to get a floor plan with large rooms, since Jim has a powerchair, it really has helped with turns and backing up. The other thing I looked for was bedrooms straight of the hall, so door frames wouldn't be a problem. We turned a 12x13 bedroom into an accessible bath and for OUR purposes made sure there was 3 feet of space to the right of the toilet. The roll-in shower has worked well. After communicating with Clipper I made sure the sink had lots of landing room beside it. The sink actually goes beyond the lip of the counter and the drain is set way back for more leg room. I had seen this sink in decorating mags but not as "accessible", just looks cool.
    After seeing your plans I would only suggest more and bigger windows, many of ours go to the floor. It really brightens our days. Also building in the microwave and putting a pullout underneath to rest things on.
    I really like your ramp to the basement, I wish we could do that, but no room. It would be a great place to hang art or collectables. A basement would be a relief in tornado season and give us room to put in a pool table! I guess maybe an elevator in the future. Best of luck.

  9. #29
    Hi Everyone. I'm sorry I have not updated the post for awhile but I have been very busy with the house and school. We moved in about a month ago and cannot wait until the weather cooperates so we can get our sod put down. I've included some pictures and point out some of the accessible features I've included. My wife and I are pretty proud of the house since we've designed it from ground up including everything down to the door stoppers. I will try to think of everything but will probably forget a few things as it's been a long seven months. Of course we have all of the regular accessible amenities like the wide doorways (I forgot the exact dimensions.....too long ago), wide hallways, plenty of turning room, and wide-open rooms. We ended up adding quite a bit of footage to the plan (around 200 square feet) to make extra room for my chair. We have mostly all laminate flooring except the bathrooms are tile. I also have an three-car garage so that I have extra space to open ramp from my Van and a Open Sesame automatic door installed for entry from my garage. I had them poor the garage foundation level with the rest of the foundation so there is no need for a ramp going into my house from the garage.

    1.sinks and stovetop access pictures - I left the space under the sinks and stovetop open so that I can have access to them. I had the cabinetmaker include slide away doors to each so this access can be hidden.

    2. kitchen pantry and microwave access pictures - For my lower kitchen pantry I had the cabinetmaker include rollout shelves so that I can get to all of my food and snacks. I also had them include a slide out shelf under the microwave to help me put in or get out food from the microwave.

    3. sidewalk and ramp pictures - I had a sidewalk put in going from my driveway around the side of the house and up a ramp to my bedroom porch so that I have and easy path in case of a fire, and so I can have home health care aids come directly to and leave from my master bedroom. I also have another ramp coming off of my main back patio into the grass.

    4. slight ramp up to front door picture - I have a very slight grade ramp going up to my front door so that I can easily go in and out of my front door. As you can see I also have door handles on all of my doors that are easily manipulated.

    Next time I will post some photos of my master bedroom and bath. I am planning on putting a ceiling lift in soon that goes from my bedroom into the bathroom, allowing me access to my corner jacuzzi tub. I will also include pictures of my roll in shower and connecting walk-in closet.

  10. #30

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