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    New home design templates / advice, please

    We are designing and building a new home to be fully accessible.
    I realize there is ample to digest here through search and browsing. Just wondering if there are any base designs from which to start. This will be a open ranch with a basement and lift with all the bathrooms to be power chair friendly, but that's all I've got so far!
    T3 complete since Sept 2015.

    #2
    Just make sure all doors in the home are 36" wide regardless of location. Also all doors/sliders exterior to be low profile sills. I really was happy having a heated garage to drive into in the winter. best of luck and congrats on the new home.

    Comment


      #3
      Will you be accessing the basement? If so, how? A cab style elevator which is expensive, or a less expensive stair glide or platform lift that you can roll on and stay in your chair? If you want to go with the latter 2 then the layout of the staircase into the basement needs to be carefully thought out, as there are issues with turns and floorspace required at the bottom of the staircase.

      Will you have natural gas? If so, get a standby generator with automatic transfer that can run the whole house. If no natural gas then the next option is propane, but which is limited by the size of the tank and if this is your option, consider getting a large tank (inground?) that can see you through a major disaster in which you will be without power for 7 to 10 days. Alternatively, you can go the diesel fuel route, but this will be more expensive and require more specialized maintenance.

      Definitely have two car garage so you can park inside and exit inside. You can run a ramp parallel to the wall to get up one or two steps.

      I have always used a 4 x 8 table in my bedroom for all of my caregiver assisted ADLs, as well as resting face down and having ROM done on me. It is infinitely easier to be dressed on a firm surface than in bed.

      Do you transfer or are you losing the ability to transfer? If so consider getting an overhead ceiling mounted lift.

      Between the table and the lift you will need to plan the bedroom layout carefully as the table takes up a lot of room but can be worked in to a layout with minimal disruption with planning. Also locate where your bed will be and get a consult from the lift installer so they can potentially reinforce the ceiling joists with blocking ahead of time before the sheet rock is installed.

      I see you are in Ohio. Automatic Snow melting system is expensive but well worth it. For light snow you don't need anybody to clean up and even heavy snows the cleanup will be minimal. You don't need to go crazy, but at the minimum the driveway and walkway to the front door would be most important. Of equal importance for the winter nightmares would be the electric deicing system for the gutters and downspouts, as you won't be able to keep them clear and the people you pay to do your major snow removal will probably not want to deal with this either. If you do go the route of having someone keep your gutters clear, get a roof rake.

      Consider getting a metal roof as opposed to shingle. It will probably be the only roof you'll ever need and though more expensive in the end you may wind up even or even saving money, not to mention not having to worry about torn shingles, etc..

      If you are going to get an alarm system, which I recommend, I would also install cameras, but not the wireless battery-operated kind. Get the camera system wired while the house is being wired and before all of the siding installed so you don't have to ruin a nice siding job by drilling holes to the house. Getting a wired system ensures full power all the time, good picture quality and recording to your own DVR box in your house without the need to pay for cloud storage. The wired system cost more though.

      If you're going to use a roll in shower decide whether you're going to have a custom-made pan and tile job or whether you can make do with a prefabricated pan which may reduce problems down the road with subfloor leakage. The prefab pans don't come that big though, although I believe you can get 5x5, which should be the standard size.

      If you're going to have any decking surface, do not get wood. Get trex or likewise material.

      Roll out shelves are nice in select areas as they allow you and others to get things in the back easily.

      One last thing, make sure in the basement that your plumber installs under the water heater a pan which will capture all water should your water heater rot out and leak, which they all eventually do. This may require raising it on small blocks. Here is the main issue the plumber needs to work out ahead of time, the emergency drain pan has an outlet which connects by hose to a drain that must be lower than the water heater itself (unless you're going to pump it up and into the basement slop sink). Therefore, if you want to go this route, the plumber needs to install some type of floor drain or tie it into another piece of plumbing, such as the sewer wasteline. This hose should be connected to a backcheck valve so any backup will not come back up through this drain line.

      Basically, you need to bomb proof the house for any potential emergency and minimize your dependency on others.

      Comment


        #4
        Check out these resources for plans that you might want to use as a starting point.

        https://www.pva.org/research-resourc...e-design-book/

        https://www.thehousedesigners.com/ac...ouse-plans.asp

        https://www.theplancollection.com/wh...le-house-plans

        https://www.uniteddesign.com/plan_index.html

        https://projects.ncsu.edu/ncsu/desig...HousePlans.pdf

        http://senatorraoul.com/handicap-accessible-home-plans/

        Also, to be a Devil's Advocate, why do you need a basement? In California, few if any homes are built with a basement. A bigger garage can be used for storing things many people keep in their basements. Not having to access that will take a lot of cost and safety issues off the table for you.

        (KLD)
        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

        Comment


          #5
          How much do you think it will cost to build a house including cost to connect to utilities (may be a significant cost)?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
            Check out these resources for plans that you might want to use as a starting point.

            https://www.pva.org/research-resourc...e-design-book/

            https://www.thehousedesigners.com/ac...ouse-plans.asp

            https://www.theplancollection.com/wh...le-house-plans

            https://www.uniteddesign.com/plan_index.html

            https://projects.ncsu.edu/ncsu/desig...HousePlans.pdf

            http://senatorraoul.com/handicap-accessible-home-plans/

            Also, to be a Devil's Advocate, why do you need a basement? In California, few if any homes are built with a basement. A bigger garage can be used for storing things many people keep in their basements. Not having to access that will take a lot of cost and safety issues off the table for you.

            (KLD)
            Some areas of the country, like NJ, just about every house has a basement.

            Comment


              #7
              Wonderful about your plan! Just want to add that we are a two wheeler couple and in our home for 40 years - you might be amazed at all the disability related equipment and supplies we continue to need, especially as we are now elderly. I highly recommend a fairly good sized equipment room of some kind for fairly easy access to grab supplies, parts, etc.etc. off reachable shelves or cabinets. I'm not thinking this would be in a basement, but a handy location on the ground floor - maybe near the bathroom. Stuff that you don't need right away - back-up wheelchairs, parts, etc. can go in the basement. (P.S. We have numerous "back-up" wheelchair cushions that take up a lot of space).
              If you are "into" any hobbies a location for that would be nice.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Rustyjames View Post
                Some areas of the country, like NJ, just about every house has a basement.
                I know, but why build one with a basement for a single level home for someone in a chair? Why would you need one?

                (KLD)
                The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
                  I know, but why build one with a basement for a single level home for someone in a chair? Why would you need one?

                  (KLD)
                  Because it adds value, makes plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems easier to install/maintain. It's also a handy place to go when natural disasters occur.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Rustyjames View Post
                    Because it adds value, makes plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems easier to install/maintain. It's also a handy place to go when natural disasters occur.
                    it also depend where you live not many basements in florida or ga


                    but we all had basements in Missouri and ohio at least my son wife family does

                    Comment


                      #11
                      @vjs: Yes, FL has high water table, don't know about GA, although there's clay which is pretty much impermeable. Also freeze/thaw cycles make it necessary for a foundation, not a big of an issue in milder climates. In NJ that requires a footing below 36" and it doesn't cost that much more to excavate for a basement. I'd imagine the same is true in OH.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Rustyjames View Post
                        Because [a basement] adds value, makes plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems easier to install/maintain. It's also a handy place to go when natural disasters occur.
                        I have never seen a house with a basement that has all entry doors at grade level. Have you? With a slab, that is easily done. Big quality of life difference. You have to decide what's more valuable to you, quality of life, or return on investment (if any).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Whatever. Around here we have basements, predominately. I am in a wheelchair and have a basement. If I was going to build a new house (here in NJ) it would have a basement. Slab on grade is big on the West Coast, it's not here.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I get that you're committed to a basement. That's neither here nor there. This is about offering context to the reader so that the reader can make an informed decision. The reader may want to consider the following.

                            Basements typically mean that even ranches have entry doors about 4 ft above grade. With an ADA pitch of 1:12 you need a 48 ft ramp. That's huge and tends to look disproportionate and ugly unless you make it architectural. Then it's very expensive. On the other hand, a slab house can be designed without a ramp so the property looks much nicer and is far less expense.

                            It's impractical and may be impossible to carry anything other than very small and cool stuff on your lap over a long ramp (forget BBQ). Because as you lean forward to push up the ramp, your gut and chest will push stuff off your lap. At some point you have to tow vs carry. The solution is to either use a power chair so that you don't lean forward, or 2) eliminate the ramp by living in a house on a slab. I know you use a power chair. But for those of us who don't, the slab house to eliminate the ramp is the only feasible option.

                            How about trips to the garage or shed to grab a tool or a supply? It can take a few minutes over a long ramp vs a few seconds without a ramp. A few minutes seems trivial but it adds up over the day. After enough trips back and forth, you're spending more energy pushing up the ramp then on the actual project. Again, easily mitigated with a power chair. But that doesn't apply to all of us.

                            The easier and more pleasant something is to do, the more likely we are do it. Hence, I find myself spending more time outdoors in California than in Connecticut because of the better weather. Similarly, i find myself more active in my California house than my Connecticut house. Because the California house offers easier mobility. Because it doesn't need ramps. Because it's on a slab.

                            But if you still want the basement, then consider landscaping the ground so that the basement is fully underground. That way, you may not need a ramp, at least not a long one. But I don't know if the building codes will allow it. For some reason, they tend to build basements only partially underground.
                            Last edited by August West; 17 Sep 2019, 1:11 AM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I've been slammed at work since posting the original query. I'll try to respond to all. I'll get to the basement on a screw lift like the ones people use in garages. We go to a local theatre that has one and it's slow but perfectly serviceable. I'm hoping the basement is only for tornados and I'll have room on the ground level for exercise equipment.

                              I need to get a big proposal out today but more tomorrow.

                              Thanks for all the help!
                              T3 complete since Sept 2015.

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