A while back I mentioned Tip 1 and Tip 2, here’s the follow on……
Most homes today have a laundry.
a] in most of today’s contemporary homes, the laundry has been located in the garage, and in most cases there is usually an outside access / entry door nearby.
b] in homes of the 70’s through 90’s many had a separate outside access door directly from the laundry which was housed separately near the kitchen area
c] and in much older homes the laundry was accessed via the porch with laundry one side and entry to the kitchen on another. (Many of these older homes have since been renovated and this may not be the case now)
However in most circumstances these doorways and access ways (ramps) are not “wheelchair” friendly, both in there “drive-through” (most are currently “drive over” like a speed hump) access and also in their “access” doorway width. In many cases a portable double sided mini – ramp will do, just make sure to double check that doorway width.
Thought needs to be devoted to all doorways / hallways / internal doors – right down to asking your building professional about allocating enough space re turning angles in bathrooms, kitchens and bedrooms…..and that may, if you aren’t going open-plan, follow through to angles from kitchen – dining – to – lounge – then to associated hallways / indoor~outdoor flow locations.
While you’re at it you will most definitely need to ensure access is easy….and I mean at least wheelchair wise to the bedrooms from the hallway.
For a standard spec build master bedroom ensure you calculate enough space either side of your desired bed for easy access.
Even I recognise that one day I may not be as mobile as I am now.
Here’s a tip?
Got friends or family in Sydney, Melb, Adelaide, Perth or Bris……….then next trip make sure you book a couple hours out to view the latest local show-home / exhibition /display home location.
You will be surprised at what you can learn from our friends across the ditch.
I’m thinking 1220mm hallways with at least 915mm door openings here. If you are looking at a new build, then to really maximise later resale opportunities you need to study these considerations.
Yes you’ve worked out your builder was right to suggest you went with a wet shower, that’s simply a good bet for the future ……….. “just in case” …………. and the bath………..well the spa outside will cover that, and yes of course the hallways will be built wider to aid if the mobility subject was to become a concerning topic …….but did you consider the angle required to turn a wheelchair in transiting from the bathroom to the hallway………..and lets not forget the WC.
It follows that if you are incorporating a separate WC, make it extra wide, and include a small handbasin arrangement in there too.
These extra wide hallways will make your home stand out later too, when a new buyer will comment “your home just seems so much bigger than the other 2 I’ve just seen.”
Consider a worst case scenario, if you are faced with having to move earlier than expected ……..in the case of something unexpected happening and perhaps having an outcome where one partner is not as mobile as before……then consider these access questions…….
1] would your current residence, built only 1-2 yrs ago, really cope……….
2] would it cost more to upgrade than to sell and buy a new build……
3] would the fact that you spent that extra 5-10% on access related items when you built …………….now mean you can stay together…….
…………….for me there is simply only one choice……
………3] is the only way to go.
So by taking consideration of these steps at the build stage, you could maximise the possibilities that an effected person may still be able to remain in the residence………..maintain a current lifestyle just a bit longer………….rather than forcing a sale because of dwelling unsuitability or having to engage in costly major renovations.
Candidly, over the last 2-3 years, for many couples I’ve dealt with ~ its been the prerogative of the male to ensure his partner has been happy with the whole downsizing thing. (hey that’s just how life used to be in what would seem, to 30 somethings today, “another time/another world”)
Sideboard in the dining room ~ gone! ………… massive rimu dresser in the master ~ gone! …………..china cabinet ~ gone! …………..200 book bookshelf in the hallway ~ gone! ………………Entertainment credenza ~ gone!……….but you know what……….after all this I think the thing that I have witnessed causing the most consternation/stress, was the act of downsizing the garage and/or loss of the workshop space.
Once one retires, there’s lots to busy one self with in “the shed” and I am sad to report here and now that I have seen too many folk over the last few years experience a downhill trajectory / lose that “spark” once they lose these former so called “home/creature comforts.”
Is this not in itself enough to seriously evaluate your options when planning that downsizing to a new smaller home?
Tip 4 & 5 of the Top 5 Values are coming………