Archive for the 'Wheelchair Accessible' Category

June 27th, 2013
By Deb Villeneuve

Designed with the same “ES” inspiration as plan 2939-ES, Drummond House Plans new approach includes plan
3240-ES, another application of the strategy that encompasses quality of construction, air, energy efficiency, ecologically and ergonomically superior design to create a truly superior home.

The Environmentally Superior concept includes optimal implantation, construction and landscaping details that will enhance the livability of your home. Save on energy costs with advice on choosing the best plumbing and electrical appliances and help you age in place with your home because of a design that considers the possible evolution required if mobility issues arise.

Plan 3240-ES features a 3 bedroom plan on one level with 9’ ceilings throughout, a two-car garage, an open kitchen/living/dining area with a fireplace, built ins and access to a covered 20’ x 14’ terrace that is also accessible from the master bedroom. The 450 sq. ft. attic/storage space can be attained via a fold-up star case in the garage.

To find out more about this superior concept in complete home design, we invite you to consult and comment on plan 2393-ES

July 7th, 2012
By Vivian Martin - Plan # 3276, The Tidewell – Plan # 3276, The Tidewell

Following a survey on our website with close to 500 respondents, consensus was a desire for available universal access or wheelchair-modified plans. We are pleased to unveil a second accessible plan. Accessible homes are not only for the comfort of the residents but also ensure visitability of the home, allowing enjoyment of the home by all!

Like plan 3275, it proposes easy access via gentle ramps at the front and rear and barrier-free thresholds. A sheltered rear 12ft x 18ft terrace is sure to extend the season for outdoor enjoyment.

Inside, the house is characterized by pleasing in-floor heating of the concrete slab floor, abundant natural light in the activities areas and 9ft ceilings throughout the ground floor. A dual-height kitchen island allows inclusive casual meals and kitchen prep areas. The bathroom is similarly appointed with dual-height vanities. Even the toilet and bathtub and shower have been carefully considered, allowing space for a wheelchair or walker and reinforced points for grab-rail support. All halls are 5 feet wide and wider doors facilitate access and movement in different rooms.

The key differences between this model and 3275: three bedrooms instead of two with bedroom one and two being larger, a larger attached garage and classical exterior rather than contemporary treatment. 

Barrier-free homes like this are exceptionally comfortable for all residents and sure to provide a home for graceful aging-in-place.

For full details on this plan, click here…

Looking for other Wheelchair Accessible,  or Single-Storey House Plans? Check our Accessible Design Collection,  Bungalow and One-Level Design Collection, or use our Advanced Plan Search to find homes with specific features.

Want to receive all of our newest designs directly by email? Create  a “New House Plans – Latest Trends” Alert  and be the first to see all of our new releases!

June 23rd, 2012
By Vivian Martin - Plan # 3275, The Aurora – Plan # 3275, The Aurora

Following a survey on our website and through the participation of nearly 500 respondents, we are pleased to introduce the first of two plans designed for people with limited mobility or confined to a wheelchair. This design in not only ideal for the residents but also allows the home to easily accommodate guests or visitors of all abilities.

A slight exterior ramp is aesthetically pleasing and a door sill set into the floor allows barrier-free access. This also applies to the back of the house where we find a beautiful sheltered terrace of approximately 18 ft x 12 ft.

Inside, this house is characterized by 5-foot wide corridors, and the particular care given to enlarge spaces and include widened doors for easy access and movement in different rooms. The interior also features a kitchen with dual-level bar for inclusive meal-times, an adapted bathroom with laundry included, double vanity and adjustable shower combined with a bath with lots of storage and integrated grab-bars. For further comfort, note the presence of heated concrete slab floors, additional care to the lighting of activities areas and 9 ft ceilings throughout.

For more details on this plan, click here…

Looking for other Wheelchair Accessible,  Single-Storey or Modern Contemporary House Plans? Check our Accessible Design Collection,  Bungalow and One-Level Design CollectionModern Contemporary Design Collection, or use our Advanced Plan Search to find homes with specific features.

Want to receive all of our newest designs directly by email? Create  a “New House Plans – Latest Trends” Alert  and be the first to see all of our new releases!

March 1st, 2011
By Vivian Martin

People who inhabit and visit the houses we live in come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from infants to seniors, with various ever-changing abilities and skills. As we grow up, grow old and welcome new people to our homes, our housing needs change. A house or dwelling that is designed and constructed to reflect the principles of universal design will be safer and more accommodating to the diverse range of ages and abilities of people who live in and visit these homes.

When Should You Consider Using a Ramp?

A ramp can be used to overcome changes in level, either on the inside or outside of a home, as an alternative to using stairs.

A ramp is ideal for people who are having difficulty negotiating stairs for various reasons, be it the need to carry heavy objects between levels, move a child in a stroller, or because of a disabling condition. Providing both stairs and a ramp at changes in level will allow people to choose the option that best suits their needs, resulting in a flexible and more universally accessible design.

Ramps are particularly useful for overcoming changes in level up to about 760 mm (30 in.), from the ground level to the level of an entrance for example. Using ramps for greater changes in level requires a great deal of space — which may or may not be practical. If you are faced with a big change in level, installing a lift or residential elevator may be a better strategy than constructing a ramp (see Accessible Housing by Design — Lifts and Residential Elevators). The physical and monetary costs associated with both options should be fully explored when deciding which option will accommodate the greatest number of users.

Ramp Design Strategies

There are typically two strategies used for ramp design: a landscape approach and a structural approach.

Landscape Approach

This approach incorporates landscaping, gently sloping walkways and grading to overcome changes in level (see Figure 2). A safe path with a gentle slope can be built without railings (unless there are abrupt drop-offs on either side, or users need them), resulting in an integrated, low-key design that does not look like a traditional ramp.

The landscape approach is generally limited to smaller changes in level.

Structural Approach

The structural approach involves building a ramp structure — usually using wood-framing construction (see Figures 3 and 4). This results in a more noticeable structure, although its visual impact can be minimized through creative design, landscaping and finishes.

The most common ramp configurations are:

  • Straight
  • Switch-back 
  • U-shaped 
  • L-shaped 

Angled ramps may also be used, but remember that the start and finish of the ramp must incorporate a straight approach. Curved ramps are not recommended as they make steering a wheelchair, walker or scooter very difficult. In some cases, depending on the length of the ramp, landings may be required as resting points.

Read the full CMHC fact sheet on ramps for design considerations and construction options for adding a ramp to your existing property or new home. 

(Source: CMHC – About Your House – General Series)

October 27th, 2010
By Vivian Martin

This bathroom has an interesting contemporary style. What may not be obvious at first glance, however, is that this is a wheelchair-friendly space.

The sink is designed with clearance underneath to allow a wheelchair to slide under it. The towel rack also works well for someone in a seated position. Notice the cabinet on casters along the back wall. This keeps the storage unit out of the way when not needed.

The cupboard along the left wall is also wheelchair friendly. Shelves inside can be reached from a seated position, and a mirror on the inside door provides the opportunity for grooming from a seated position.

Most people think of “handicapped” bathrooms as functional but unattractive. However, as our population ages, manufacturers are responding with products designed for accessibility that are also inviting. Notice that this bathroom is also versatile, working well for someone standing as well as sitting.

Many people are now designing their homes with the goal of aging in place – having the ability to grow old while staying in their homes. Others are prepared to bring parents into their homes. A bathroom designed for someone with limited mobility is an important feature to help ensure that you or family members will be able to continue to safely stay in your home.

You may follow other bloggers participating in the Bathroom Blogfest on Facebook or Bathroom Blogfest on Twitter.

Article Credit: Dolphin Carpet & Tile Blog

August 16th, 2010
By Vivian Martin
Aug 16, 2010 09:00 ET

MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK–(Marketwire – Aug. 16, 2010) – The Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick today announced an investment of close to $12.6 million for the construction and renovation of 825 housing units for low-income seniors, families and persons with disabilities. Funding in the amount of over $3.4 million will be for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing, while close to $9.2 million will be for the construction of new affordable housing units.  

The funding was made available through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the federal government’s plan to stimulate the economy and create jobs during the global recession. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes $2 billion for new and existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure. The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to this overall investment of $75 million under the amended Canada-New Brunswick Affordable Housing Program Agreement.  

The Government of Canada wants to improve the quality of existing social housing for low-income seniors, single parent families, recent immigrants and Aboriginal households. Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides $850 million under the Affordable Housing Initiative to provinces and territories for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing as well as $475 million to build new rental housing for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities over two years.

Read entire story here…

You may also want to read more about the Canada’s Economic Action Plan 

August 5th, 2010
By Vivian Martin

A friend of mine was talking about the experience of caring for her elderly mother and noted, “I never thought our family home (a two story cape, built in the early 1950s) could be so hazardous.” One of her most difficult tasks was helping her mother to the bathroom. “The bathroom is next door to her bedroom but with her walker the halls and doorways are too narrow.  Although we installed grab bars and purchased a shower seat, it’s hard to lift her into the tub. I don’t know how long she will be able to live at home.” 

Homes can become hazardous not only for older adults but even for those with temporary mobility impairments like a teen who breaks a leg in football practice or a person recovering from surgery.

If you’re planning to update or remodel a bathroom consider the following “Universal Design” adaptations to improve access and safety in your home:

  1. Install a no-threshold walk-in shower or mini-threshold water dam shower with minimum dimensions of 5 feet by 3 feet.
  2. Add a built-in shower seat.
  3. Place grab bars in the shower, tub and near the toilet.
  4. Install several showerheads, including a hand-held adjustable height showerhead with easy to operate controls.
  5. Widen the doorway to 36 inches in the bathroom entrance.
  6. If possible, allow for maneuvering space. Ideally, allocate space to accommodate a 60 inch turning radius.
  7. Replace twist handle faucets with lever handle, anti-scald faucets.
  8. Consider installing a pedestal sink. Not only are they attractive, but the sink is accessible to those in your home who use a walker, wheelchair or crutches.
  9. If you are installing a vanity, mount the sink bowl close to the edge for easier use and select cabinetry with easy-glide drawers that close automatically.
  10. Toilets should be centered 18 inches from any sidewall, tub or cabinet and the seat should be 18 to 19 inches off the floor for older persons, lower for children.
  11. Replace round door knobs with lever handle knobs.
  12. Install lighting to provide good visibility when using the shower, tub, sink and toilet. Also, add a night light.

Many bathrooms are part of a master bedroom suite or located just outside the bedroom. To make your bedroom space more accommodating:

  • Add a night light.
  • Install additional electrical outlets to accommodate technology or future medical equipment.
  • Fit closets with multi-level clothing rods or multi-level pull-out drawers and shelving. Don’t use bi-fold doors on closets because they can be difficult to open and close.

The television show “This Old House” has an interesting “how-to” video on Choosing Universal-Design Bath Fixtures. Also, AARP offers a home accessibility checklist for bathrooms.

Source: McClurg’s Home Remodeling and Repair Blog

August 3rd, 2010
By Vivian Martin

As a tail-end baby boomer, it is strange to anticipate my golden years. After all, I have a few years to go before I get there… Right? Still, now that the kids are moved out and the morning stretch is not as stretchy, I have to face reality. We are aging.

This week’s blog entries will be on many aspects of aging in place and universal design. In 2001, one in every eight Canadians was over the age of 65. By the year 2026, one in every five Canadians will be over the age of 65. Unfortunately, a common companion of aging is declining mobility.

As you build your new home, you have the flexibility to look forward and plan for a home that is comfortable and flexible for yourself, your family and your guests not just for the present but as your life evolves. Working with your home designer and your builder to let them know that this is important to you will help to plan for future modifications during the construction stage.  

Here are some of the more common universal design features:

  – No-step entry. No one needs to use stairs to get into a universal home or into the home’s main rooms.

  – Single-story living. Places to eat, use the bathroom and sleep are all located on one barrier-free level.

  – Doorways that are 32-36 inches wide let wheelchairs pass through. They also make it easy to move big things in and out of the house.

  – Wide hallways -  36-42 inches wide. That way, everyone and everything moves more easily from room to room.

  – Extra floor space so everyone feels less cramped and people with wheelchairs or walkers have more space to turn.

Other universal design features just make good sense for all residents and guests. For example:

  – Floors and bathtubs with non-slip surfaces help everyone stay on their feet. Slips happen at all ages and abilities so prevention just makes sense. The same goes for handrails on steps and grab bars in bathrooms.

  - Thresholds that are flush with the floor prevent trips and also make it easy for a wheelchair to get through a doorway.

  – Good lighting helps people with poor vision. And it helps everyone else see better, too.

  – Lever door handles and rocker light switches are great for people with poor hand strength or arthritis. These are also great for young family members and convenient when your arms are full of packages. You’ll never go back to knobs or standard switches!

Remember to check back all this week for additional posts and resources or even better, subscribe to our RSS blog feed at the top of this page.

August 2nd, 2010
By Vivian Martin

Our demographics are changing. According to Health Canada, at the start of this new century, Canada faces significant aging of its population as the proportion of seniors increases more rapidly than all other age groups. In 2001, one Canadian in eight was 65 years or over. By 2026, one Canadian in five will have reached age 65.

With this aging demographic we can foresee some challenges in housing. While we as Canadians can boast an active lifestyle and excellent healthcare, the reality is that some homes become less and less user-friendly with advancing age or disability.

We attended a CHBA meeting where the guest speaker presented on behalf of Access Nanaimo. The speaker was a young lady attending a local University. Although young and vivacious, she was also confined to a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy.  She spoke of some of her trials and tribulations in visiting friends in their homes. She also addressed the aging population and how some simple design and construction considerations could make homes more “visitable”.

This week, we will post a series of blog entries on topics of Universal Access in the residential setting. This may also be referred to as residential design that allows for “aging in place“.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a wealth of information on this topic which is available online or as downloads.

According to the CMHC, Universal design is defined as:

“The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.”

The concept is an evolving design philosophy.

Principle 1: Equitable Use

This principle focuses on providing equitable access for everyone in an integrated and dignified manner. It implies that the design is appealing to everyone and provides an equal level of safety for all users.

Principle 2: Flexibility in Use

This principle implies that the design of the house or product has been developed considering a wide range of individual preferences and abilities throughout the life cycle of the occupants.

Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive

The layout and design of the home and devices should be easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience or cognitive ability. This principle requires that design elements be simple and work intuitively.

Principle 4: Perceptible Information

The provision of information using a combination of different modes, whether using visual, audible or tactile methods, will ensure that everyone is able to use the elements of the home safely and effectively. Principle 4 encourages the provision of information through all of our senses — sight, hearing and touch — when interacting with our home environment.

Principle 5: Tolerance for Error

This principle incorporates a tolerance for error, minimizing the potential for unintended results. This implies design considerations that include fail‑safe features and gives thought to how all users may use the space or product safely.

Principle 6: Low Physical Effort

This principle deals with limiting the strength, stamina and dexterity required to access spaces or use controls and products.

Principle 7: Size and Space for Approach and Use

This principle focuses on the amount of room needed to access space, equipment and controls. This includes designing for the appropriate size and space so that all family members and visitors can safely reach, see and operate all elements of the home.

Stay tuned all this week for further blog posts on this topic.

July 7th, 2010
By Vivian Martin

A growing number of healthy, active couples nearing retirement are making smart plans for their future—and they have the blueprints to prove it.

Savvy seniors and aging baby boomers are remodeling the baths in their current homes with the goal of “aging in place” well into their advanced years.

“Active older adults are beginning to decide to stay in their homes for the long term,” says Susan Duncan, RN, principal of ADAptations, Inc., in Seattle. “They’re looking ahead, and planting the seeds, to figure out how to stay at home.”

The last thing health-conscious baby boomers want, however, are bathrooms that suggest old age or anything remotely institutional. Fortunately for them, it’s possible to add features that can help them stay comfortable in the future but that don’t detract from—and in many cases enhance—their bathroom’s beauty and elegance.

According to a recent survey by the American Association of Retired Persons, 74 percent of adults over the age of 50 want to remain in their homes for the rest of their lives. Here are some ideas that can help ensure they do so in style.

For more, read the full article…

Source: Kohler Kitchen and Bath Fixtures and Faucets


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