Maybe we’re getting smarter about houses. Instead of assuming we’ll be able to move to a more accommodating space as age and physical infirmities catch up with us, more Americans are adapting their existing homes or designing new ones with the realities of old age in mind.
Accessible design covers a wide swath. Curb-free showers big enough to handle a wheelchair, entryways that incorporate low-slope ramps, and even residentially sized elevators all are potential if not fairly obvious features.
But an equally important design element is the built-in flexibility allowing the house to change right along with our needs, even if we can’t foresee exactly what they will be.
And while accessible or universal designs seem to be aimed mainly at older or disabled people, they also make the house more appealing and more useful for folks of all sizes and ages.
Building new means thinking ahead
Bob and Sharon O’Brien’s home outside Ithaca, N.Y., is a good example of how advance planning can pay off years down the road.
Their four must-have features included accessibility, low maintenance, energy efficiency, and easy day-to-day living.
To read the rest of the story: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/20282/designing-and-building-homes-that-stay-accessible/page/all