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Universal design?

Discussion in 'Development' started by JenW, 27th Jul, 2015.

  1. JenW

    JenW Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    372
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Hi all,

    As some of you are aware, we've bought a block recently in Wembley, and we're going to build on it in around 5 or so years. Anyhow we're (well.... just me) currently spending lots of time looking at house plans, etc etc.

    One of the things we're interested in, is making sure that the house is compatible with universal design principles. ('Universal design' is what we all used to call 'wheelchair accessible'.) While we don't want to have the full gamut of stuff like grab bars etc installed from the get go, we are very keen to incorporate features which would mean the house could be rendered wheelchair friendly, if need be. So, things like wider hallways (and doorways), wheel-in showers, that kind of thing. This isn't for us (at this stage) but it would make the property more friendly for older people (which we will be, one day, and we'd like to stay there for as long as is practical), plus it opens the house up to another (albeit niche) market for if/when we want to sell.

    Anyhow, I'd love any experience and/or feedback if anyone else has either built with this kind of thing in mind, or if you've had to modify an existing residence to suit? At this stage I'm still gathering ideas... .I've found some stunning bathrooms on Pinterest so far!

    Any input would be fantastic :D
     
  2. hobo

    hobo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    425
    Location:
    FNQ
    My folks built with a similar idea in mind I think, although they never referenced the "Universal Design" title.

    Their main thought process was that they wanted to be able to live in this house for as long as physically possible. So the design - even though it is a two-storey house - has all the critical living areas on the top (or drive-in/garage) level - main bedroom, office, laundry, kitchen/dining/living/deck.

    Downstairs are the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms, as well as a complete self-contained granny flat (for future live-in help, if ever required).

    I am sure there will be things they need to add / adjust in the future - grab rails included - but they specifically excluded features such as split levels/stairs, raised door frames etc, to make it as long-term friendly as possible. Fingers crossed they are able to enjoy it for many years to come.
     
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  3. JenW

    JenW Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    372
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    Thanks Hobo :)

    That's the kind of thing that we started off with - if we want to build our ideal home, we'd want to stay there for as long as possible. No kids, so we don't have to worry about teenagers (or twenty-somethings returning home) - although we are planning on building a home that could fit kids in too (again, future resale). But it made sense to us, if you can include stuff like wider hallways and doorways etc, why not do it at the build stage?

    And, although I hope and pray it never happens, you never know what's ahead of you in life. If one of us (or both of us, even) ended up in a wheelchair, it would be heartbreaking to have to move out of our dream home because it couldn't be adapted.
     
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