3-Bedroom Wheelchair Accessible House Plan: Work In Progress, Take a Look

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.
We have had loads of great advice on how to make this home wheelchair accessible.  Thank you for your comments and drawings,  you've made this project more fun and the design much better.   So here are the designs so far, click on the designs to enlarge.

Just to refresh your memory here is the original design:

Issues with this design:
  • Need bathtub in master bathroom.
  • Master bedroom closet is 5' wide which is enough for a wheelchair to turn around but not for a rack of clothes on each side of the closet,  master bedroom closet needs to be 9' wide.
  • Family does not want toilet in utility room.
  • Garage needs to have 2-12' doors and face the east so there won't be as much as an issue with snow build-up in the winter.
  • Only 4' between kitchen cabinets and island, needs to be a minimum of 5' to allow wheelchair access.
  • Family doesn't care about having a formal dining room, would like to have more storage for food from kitchen.
  • Need a wood stove to heat house included in plan. 
  • Family currently has a sunroom full of plants and would like a sunroom for plants in their new house as well. 

Design A based on modification suggestions by family, design team, and wonderful people who took the time to look at the floor plan and give input:

Primary modifications include:
  • Changed formal dining room to an office/guest bedroom and added dual-purpose front entry closet.
  • Removed toilet from utility room for more storage space.
  • Enlarged master bathroom.  Added large bathtub.  Roll-in shower has flush threshold and no front and side walls, allowing adjacent transfer to the toilet and to the bathtub.  Added second sink that would be roll-under.
  • Removed bay window in the master bedroom.
  • Removed the island in kitchen for better accessibility to sink, range, oven, and refrigerator, and added a large accessible pantry.  A rolling cart in the kitchen/dining area would be versatile for food preparation and delivering food/dishes, etc.
  • Added large windows in upper right corner of family/living room (facing south and west) for light for plants.
  • Positioned wood-burning stove on exterior wall in family/living room and added firewood loading area and wall pass-through.
  • Added walk-in closets to bedrooms 2 and 3 and adjusted exterior footprint to make them equivalent in size.
  • Added back deck or patio, with turn platform, ramp, and on-grade landing platform.  Length and configuration of ramp and deck will depend on elevation here.   
  • Changed layout of main bathroom for accessibility.
  • Oriented the garage to face east.
After a few more modifications we got to Design D:

Primary modifications include:
  • Adjusted the size and position of the pantry to make room for stowing a 48x26 inch rolling food prep cart to the side.
  • Added upper cabinets in the kitchen to make it more complete and selected some sample colors, materials, and textures in the kitchen.  This is preliminary and subject to a professional kitchen designer's expertise.  We have several good Functional Homes affiliates who we turn to, but please make suggestions.

Remaining issues that are really bugging me:
  • No clear walkway across kitchen.
  • Would like to see more space around dining table to allow clear path of access to back patio and through to family room.
  • Main bathroom doesn't have enough space between toilet and sink.  I think bathroom design is THE most difficult.  Any bathroom designers out there?

A few notes:

  • Tried placing an island in the kitchen, and restricted its counter dimensions to just 26 inches wide, and reduced the depth of the pantry to about 22 inches.  But this leaves just less than 4 feet on both sides of the island for maneuvering.   Reverted back to the open layout but added a large rolling cart that can be used for food prep, maybe with a butcher block top, or delivery of food and dishes to/from the table or maybe even the outdoor grill. 
  • Specified a roof for the front porch and 2/3 of the back deck/patio.
  • Made various improvements to the utility room to make it more functional.
  • Rearranged the main bathroom.
  • Placed pocket doors in the utility room and master closet.  That should make it easier to get through and keep the door out of the way.
  • Added door from garage to front porch.

Any more suggestions to make this floor plan better??  Anything you love?  Anything you hate?  We're still plugging away...


Janis said...

Put window in master bathroom over toilet to allow toilet to move left for better clearance.
Move closet in office to left end of bedroom 2 closet, accessed from entry next to stairs to basement. Unfortunately, this means closets in bedrooms will not be equal.
move panty to location of office closet, recessing back. This gives better clearances. Rolling cart could be stored in pantry?
Good luck!

Karen Koch said...

Great ideas, I especially like the idea of pushing the pantry back into the office.

Thanks for posting.