Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

I am in a wheelchair and I purchased Home Designer Pro in order to design our next home.  Pretty much every home we have looked at that has been identified as "handicap accessible" or "wheelchair accessible" have been designed by individuals who have never spent a minute in a wheelchair, let alone have to live in one.  I believe for a house to be truly handicap accessible it needs to be designed by a person who is living their everyday life in a wheelchair; therefore, I want to put my ideas and design on paper to better show an architect what I want to accomplish.   

 

Does anyone out in HomeTalk land know of any sites where I could download the a basic handicap accessible floor plan that I can make modifications to.  I built a floorplan in HD-Pro but the more details I add the more errors I end up creating so if I can find a solid plan that I can start from it might help avoid these errors.

 

The biggest things I run into are walls that seem to go on forever, roof line's that don't match up, holes showing up in the floor when something is move, landscape that does not follow the flow of the house and in some cases a walkout basement that is 6' underground or a front porch that is 6' feet in the air.  Everytime I fix one error two more seem to show up.

 

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions or know of any sites I might check out please let me know.  Thank you.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David,

 

Thank you for the suggestion.  Unfortunately, the Government's ADA recommendations fall way short of what those of us in wheelchairs actually need to be independent.  Most architects and builders believe that if they follow the governments ADA guidelines they are building a truly accessible home and that is true if you only look at the governments guidelines; however, talk to the person in that home who is in a wheelchair and they will be quick to tell how the many short falls that prevent them from living an independent life.  For others who might read this and wonder what I mean here are a few examples.  In most cases a 36" doorway is considered ADA compliant; however, anyone with an oversize wheelchair or even a power wheelchair, well barley fit through a 36" opening; therefore, a 42" open would be the better choice.  Most garages in an ADA home are built 2 - 3 feet wider but if you have to transfer from the passenger seat to a wheelchair that is not enough room and in the winter time you have to leave the garage door open so you can get around your vehicle.  An additional 4' needs to be added to the length of the garage and to the width for a standard two stall garage.  The last example I'll give is  most bathrooms have a shower stall designed that meets ADA requirements but they often have a 1 - 2" lip making it impossible for a person in a wheelchair to get into the shower without doing dangerous transfers on a wet floor.  My next shower will have a tiled floor so I can roll right into the shower with my shower chair, the floor will slope towards an oversize drain and I'll have an additional drain outside the shower allowing any water that gets out to drain away.

 

These are just some common oversights but if you visit with an individual who actually has to live life in a wheelchair I promise you they can give you a much longer list of what I often refer to "what the reality of it really is".  By the way, my wife of 30 years is an Occupational Therapist and she often tell others that the best thing the came out of my accident was that she now understands that once her patients get home they have a whole new set of obstacles to overcome.  So when she goes to the patients homes she is much more observant in the little things that allows her clients to be as independent as possible and that can be very difficult in many of the older homes.

 

I hope this helps some of you out there better understand that just because a house or building mets ADA Code does not been that that building is truly accessible.  Thanks for taking time to read this and hopefully it got you thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only online plans are the Samples on Chief's site , but you could take one of them and modify it as needed there are a few articles in the KB on doing various things like modifying cabinets and adding Ramps , there is also a library item  for accessibility but I have not used it.

 

you don't say what version of Pro you have but one of these sample plans might help ( I think X6=2015,X5=2014.X4=2012 etc)

http://www.chiefarchitect.com/products/samples.html

 

library download

http://3dlibrary.chiefarchitect.com/index.php?r=site/detail/790

KB articles

http://www.chiefarchitect.com/search/?q=accessibility&default_tab=support&site=chief_architect&client=chief_architect&restrict=ChiefArchitect&proxystylesheet=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.chiefarchitect.com%2Fsearch%2Fchiefsearch_stylesheet.xslt&output=xml_no_dtd&submit.x=10&submit.y=13

 

Mick.

 

 

edit you posted above as I post this , a 42" door isn't standard off the shelf ( so expensive) while a 36" is , but I can see your issues for sure , there is an article to do barrier free showers in the KB though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Kbird, I add the version to my signature as you suggested.  Also thanks for the feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Oldmanwheelchair,

 

I will help you get started by doing the basic outlay (floorplan) for you.  I use HD Pro.

Then you could play with the facade yourself. In Australia we call what I am offering," a lock up house". The  Foundation (ready for your engineer to adjust), the walls , roof, The ramps.

 

Windows and doors interior walls you could put in your self. 

 For your situation big rooms with doors in the middle of the room. Wide doorways. Sliding doors  with a weight for them to close after you have gone through work well on a toilet room. (WC)

 

Let me have a look at your plan just post a few photos so I can be sure I can help as I am still learning HDPro myself. I am an a Retired Architect so I should be able to give you some free advise.  I am in Australia so laws are different but together we should be able to get this done. 

However,  if you want to keep trying yourself 

 

I boldly  advise; have 30 or more undos set up in preferences. When you get a section right, save. Then when you do the next section look at it with the camera from two different angles. Then do a perspective view, then  a elevation view if something does not look right go back to the floor plan and have a tiled window with either a camera view or perspective view with the plan view, then slowly undo until the mistake has gone. Save again.  Then try again.  Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you know what you need better than anyone else.

 

We'll help with the plan. 

 

Get something together and post it with a couple of questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the ADA guidelines especially for designing bathrooms, otherwise you just have to plan for the necessary space and ergonomics required for Wheel chair activity (wider exterior and interior doors, ramps, wider halls and bathrooms), In other words you have to think through the design, seeing yourself in that environment and molding it to your own comfort.

It sounds like to me that you really do not require any help as you already have your own likes and dislikes to guide you. As Eric has already said, we can help you with the software to get exactly what you decide you need and want.

 

DJP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Eric and David you right I have learned a lot over the last four years. I have to share a funny story with you. The other day my wife and I went to a college basketball game at a major university and I had to use the restroom which was located on the same level as the handicap seating so one would expect a smooth run.  The door to the restroom didn't have a power door opener but I was able to use my power wheelchair to push it open and once it was open there was a 90 degree turn which was no problem.  So once inside I went and did my business.  I headed back to the entrance to the restroom to go back to my seat but I inorder to open the door I had to pull in front of it in order to grab the handle and quickly discovered that I couldn't open the door because my wheelchair was in the way.  I tried several techniques but nothing worked so I had to sit in the rest room until someone came in to use it so I could get out. I was only 10 min or so but it seem like an enternity.  I happen to run into the Athaletic Director later that night and explained to her what happen and her response was it meet ADA code.  My wife stayed to watch the end of the game but I left with about 5 min left and headed to the car.  When I got out to one of the 3 handicap stalls, yes a major univeristy and only three hadicap stalls! there was an SUV parked in the striped area betweent my vehcile and the one next to me.  I was unable to get into my vehcile because of this and I notice it had a state license plate on it.  As I waited in the cold out walked that same athletic Director got in the vehcile and drove off.  Not one word as I sat there in the cold.  I laugh about it now but at the time I was verious and wrote to the president of the University.  He apologised and said he would talk to the AD.  As for the restroom, I now have to have my wife come with me and wait out side so when I'm done I can get out.  

 

Hope you all had a great and safe New Years Day.  Sorry for any typos but my fingers don't work all that well, but at least I have been blessed with a second chance at life.  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmm thats not a good storey.. I am glad you can laugh. Yes the standards do not always make sense.  I help write some of the standards in Australia. They choose about 60 people from the industry and we sit and talk about each standard in a code section for a week. But we are controlled by a code of practice that is already written. We feel elated when we actually get a code of practice changed. The Government actually relies on people like you to tell them what they have got wrong. The  president of the University cannot actual get a code changed on one hear say but you can get a code changed. You need to write to the minister of ADA in Parliament.. In Australia we have a local member that we can actually go to see and they take it to the next Government meeting. Thankyou for sharing. xxx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep not a good story,though I am not surprised an AD has that attitude , I'd be following up with one of my State Offices if I was you , that situation ,in particular in a Fire could be deadly.

 

As the others have said always happy to help with a plan/problems if I can , so start a new thread with your issues etc so we can all have a look at it.

 

Mick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now