Accessibility: Keep the structure close to the ground, limit the number of stairs and either build or make provisions in the design for approach ramps should wheelchair access becomes an issue.
Building design: Give serious consideration to building a single level home, eliminate stairs altogether and make hallway at least 4 ft wide (5′ is better) to enable a wheelchair to be turned around. Eliminate floor level changes and if you do plan any then ensure a change in floor covering in this area to assist when failing eyesight becomes a problem.
ADA Compliance: Plan the whole house with ADA features in mind, seek advise on this. Consider bathrooms and kitchen areas in particular.
Lighting: Provide more light than you currently think you need; ensure there are plenty of windows to bring in the natural light. This is particularly important for the long winter evenings. Install nightlights and adequate lighting at external entryways and make sure that the switches can be reached from a sitting position.
Heating: Choose wisely; whilst a wood stove may be your first choice for the looks and the comfort feeling, it may not be practical. You may not be able to collect/cut and haul the wood as you get older.
Emergencies: Install a back up generator that comes on automatically when there is a power outage. Plan for a security system for the ‘unwelcome visitors!!”
Maintenance: Keep things simple, single level structures not only have no stairs but are easier to maintain. Good quality wood windows, with a maintenance free exterior metal clad (Footprint includes Pella windows as standard in our package) double pane with low E glass for maximum heat retention. Consider composite decking material to reduce maintenance issues on decks and porches.
In our opinion a log or timber home is one of the most peaceful and attractive types of housing available.
Some of the above comments may seem to be daunting but with careful planning and design work and with our help your dream home will be more enjoyable and easier to care for in later years.
Contact us to find out more.