Wheelchair Friendly Homes Nearing Completion

Wheelchair Friendly Homes Nearing Completion, from the Chatanoogan.

Interesting what qualifies as “wheelchair accessible”. Notice that this home has what looks like 5-6 steps to the front entrance. Apparently the accessible entrance is hidden in the garage. This hiding of accessibility features stands in contrast to the renovation of Lake Park Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, where accessibility is “up-front and gracious”.

Back when we were looking for an architect to help us with our remodel, we interviewed a guy who said he had designed and built a wheelchair-accessible home just north of us. He gave me the owner’s name, I called him, asked him if I could see his wheelchair-accessible home. I was very explicit that this was the aspect of the house I was interested in. The owner was very friendly and invited me to come see his home.

In terms of accessibility features, it was very similar to the home featured above. All entrances (front, back, garage) were at least four steps above ground level, and the owner was very gracious about hauling me up them, although he was clearly surprised that there was an actual wheelchair in the equation.

The house was very open, hallways and doorways were wide. But it was certainly not wheelchair-ready. The bathrooms would have required substantial renovation, although all the walls were pre-blocked for later grab bar installation. The second floor was inaccessible; the owners pointed out where an elevator could be installed should the need arise. As it was, the stairway took at least four turns, so it would have been quite expensive to retro-fit it with a stairlift.

Still, in a country where most homes aren’t even visitable, it’s a step forward.


1 Comment

  1. mdmhvonpa

    You gotta wonder about what ppl are thinking. It’s like putting braile plaques on walls and not putting in hand-rails around ledges.


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