I want to share a couple stories that are very relevant to the "why" of this project. I am in the midst of looking for rental housing for a few agencies and was out looking at a couple prospects this weekend. After explaining universal design and my search parameters to a property owner who was showing me an upcoming rental, he proceeded to tell me how he incorporated UD concepts into the building plans of his own home.
His wife was in the recovery stages of an illness while they were building and needed the use of a wheelchair. Consequently, they built the home with great consideration to her needs at the time and even though those needs were temporary, the accommodations they made are still providing many benefits to them. Namely: the ramped entry, wider halls and doorways and the kitchen and bath configurations. These few things have a big impact that makes movement easier for everyone.
On this same excursion I took the time to stop by a house that I have long admired because of the way the owners very tastefully added a curved ramp walkway to the front of their modest mid-sixties ranch. After speaking with the owner I was surprised and delighted to find out the back-story to this prime example of a UD modification that was a planned improvement to the property and not just an afterthought, haphazard add-on.
The owners purchased the house about 8 years ago. At the time it had a ramp on it which they thought about taking off because they didn't want anyone to think they were elderly. After finding out how much easier the ramp made life for them and their aging pooches, the people decided to have a permanent ramp added on when it was time to re do their driveway. I am working on getting an accurate figure on what it will cost to reproduce this ramp on a similar structure but based on the figures from the owners invoices it seems likely that it will fall into the range of somewhere between 5 and 7k to do this. Money very well spent.
Cheers to the smart people who live in this house!!! Thank you for sharing your time and story with me and letting me post these photos!
People of the world contemplating future concrete work please take note.
Viewer take note: This concrete work is not the work of AUDP but it is a great example of forethought and design.