Making a difficult home accessible for wheelchairs

After a couple bought this mountain lakefront home, the wife was diagnosed with cancer and they both knew she would be in a wheelchair soon. They loved their home but it was impossible to get a wheelchair inside with the living area upstairs. There was no easy way to add a ramp because the living area was up so high, and the terrain was so steep. This loving husband wanted to make the home enjoyable for his wife, but their budget was very limited. This project was a real challenge. I needed to design a wheelchair access to the living area upstairs, but it could not look like a wheelchair ramp. The roof design of the existing home made it very difficult to make an addition.

I produced a design, and then I encouraged them to get a rough estimate from a builder before I produced the complete plans. I am so glad they did this because the budget came back too high. I was able to to reduce the budget by changing the design before the plans were done.

You can see the new entry in the photos below. She could wheel right over the driveway and inside the new front door. This entry deck had a slight arch to clear the garage door below. Upon entering the house, the first view was of lots of glass facing the beautiful lake. A new master suite was added on the same level, also facing the lake. When this project was done, she could wheel inside the hosue and into her kitchen, living room, and master bedroom and bathroom. That is how all homes should be designed.

The first photo shows the house during the beginning of the project. The other three photos show different views of the new entry when the project was almost done.

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