This project takes the long-term investment of a high energy performance home and adds function and value by adding a multi-generational use layout and incorporating aging-in-place features.
One story living is accomplished on the upper at-grade level. Given the extraordinary expense of assisted care and/or nursing home living, a modest investment in making a new home suitable for people to grow old in adds significant value to the home. A stacked washer-dryer laundry area across from the first floor powder room is sufficient to serve an older couple if/when the larger, lower level laundry room is no longer an option due to physical limitations. The garage has an extended depth and houses a dry storage room, as well as a 4’ wide ramp up the three steps to the entry area. The garage width is also enlarged for easier car egress mobility. Groceries can be “wheeled” in using a simple 2-wheel, lightweight, aluminum cart. The outdoor spa is sunken into the deck with an inclined grab bar to facilitate an older person’s easy entry, and is roofed over to facilitate year round, all-weather use.
All of the passage doors on both levels are 36" wide (34" for pocket doors). The large NanaWall folding/sliding door to the 3-season room has an ADA threshold, and there is no step down from the interior space to the 3-season room. Space has been allocated in the home for wheelchair mobility and access. Simple ramps can be easily added later (if required) to transition the 8" differential height from the home’s interior to the outside rear deck. Pre-wiring and blocking has been included to allow for automatic door operator systems to be installed later (if required) on the entry door from the garage which already incorporates an ADA threshold.
Since we are focusing on an aging-in-place design, the lower level is readily convertible into a one level, two bedroom, in-law suite or caregiver suite by using the whole lower level finished space as a “two family” type, two bedroom design. It can also transform into a one bedroom caregiver suite by adding one simple straight partition wall to divide up the “gathering” space area; thereby splitting up the lower level space for dual use between upper and lower inhabitants. The gathering space already has a fully functioning kitchen along one wall. Direct access and parking for the lower level is also provided at the rear of the home. Alternatively, the same space could be used immediately for a younger extended family. There is ample outdoor living space at each level.