Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Accessible Dream House Update || Progress

            Master Bedroom inspiration
We are renovating a 1961 mid century home and gutting it from top to bottom. In addition to be a dream house, it's also going to be an accessible dream house. You can follow along from the beginning here and here with bathroom inspiration here and here and kitchen inspiration here

Home. That sure is a charged word isn't it? For many home is synonymous with comfort, coziness and love. For others it might be equated with hell on earth if home was a place where a person experienced abuse or neglect. For some perhaps it's a reminder of what they don't have or simply the most basic shell of protection.

Our new home was previously occupied by a man who suffered mental illness, and I do believe he suffered. He neglected the home when he lived there, and eventually committed suicide in the walls of the home. Yes, this very home. Our new home. It sat empty for years, on the verge of foreclosure. Which is why it made sense that it was in such bad shape when we first saw it. It looked like it had been ransacked and maybe even a few animals had taken up residence.

The suicide alone kept many people away from this house, but it never bothered me or deterred me from wanting this home. Strangely, the fact that it was in such bad shape was part of what made it perfect for our family. I'm excited to bring this home back to life and to fill it with our family's history--the good, the bad and the in between.

We are still a couple months away from moving in, but I thought I'd share some photos of where we started and where we are right now. (We have actual walls people!) I love me some good progress photos and when I look through these photos I'm reminded of why this process has taken so long. We were told many times before that it would have been easier to build from scratch and we know. Boy did we bite off a lot. But we're more excited than ever. Now I'm the type of person who could look at house photos--especially before and after type photos all day long. If this is your jam too, great! Check out the progress below and tell me what you think and please let me know if you have any questions.

Kitchen Before:
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress

Kitchen Currently: (in the photo above, my family is standing about where the stool is below). The old kitchen was smaller with a very large full bath right next to it. We opened the kitchen up, pushed the back wall out, removed the big bathroom and put an elevator and pantry where the bathroom used to be.
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress

Living Room Before:
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress


Living Room Currently: We removed the wall separating the kitchen, stairs and elevator from the living room and have decided to leave it totally open. You can see it better in the photos below. 
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress

Hallway to Front Door Before: As stated we removed the wall to the left and completely opened up the kitchen to the living room. Also, the door at the end of this hallway was the old front door (which was actually on the side of the house). So now the front door has been moved to the front and the addition continues down past that old doorway. 
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress

Hallway to Front door (and addition) currently:
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress

Addition before:
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress

Addition Currently: There is a studio, office, bathroom on the top and another garage on the bottom as part of the addition. (The garage will by my husband's new woodworking shop. He's super excited.) 
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
 This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress


Stairwell Before: 
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress

Stairwell After: The wall to the left of the stairs got moved 6 inches (maybe more?) to make it wide enough for a wheelchair. The window gets extended and there will be new railing for the stairs. Also there will be a little reading nook behind the stairway in front of the window. 
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress

Family Room Before: The footprint is exactly the same before and after, but since we had to do all new electrical, plumbing, HVAC and AC everything was still gutted. 
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress

Family Room Currently:
This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress
 This Little Miggy || Accessible Dream home || Progress

I know a lot of these photos are rough, but they give you a good idea of how things are coming along. Admittedly it's been a pretty emotional ride, but it will be worth it. I can't tell you how excited we are to move in.

We brought Lamp's new power chair over to the house this past weekend and let her ride around inside to make sure all the hallways and doorways are wide enough, and luckily it all seems to work right now. We didn't have any sort of accessibility specialist walk us through the house and tell us what we needed to do--we've just had to rely on our experience, instinct and research. Which makes sense because we know our daughter and her needs best. However a couple of major changes we've made on the fly and they've been some of the most important accessible decisions we've made. Like, PHEW! Other decisions around accessibility we're still not sure how they will pan out. We're crossing our fingers that they will be the right decisions in the long run. Is that nerve wracking? Yep. But here's to hoping for the best.

I used to say that I never wanted to build a house because I just couldn't fathom making every little decision from the get go. And since this is pretty much like a new build I've worried that I would hate that part. And while is has certainly been stressful, it's also really excited to get to choose exactly (well, within reason) what you want your house to look like from the start. Anyone else relate? Do you want to build a house and make all the decisions or does that prospect overwhelm you? Any other special needs families build an accessible home? Did you have someone help or did you figure it out on your own? What were some of the main adaptions you made? Also, I'd love to answer any questions you might have about our home, the process or accessibility. XO --Miggy

9 comments:

  1. we just finished the first half of a major renovation of our house and while it was REALLY stressful living in the demolition zone for the 5 years it took to complete this phase, it was so worth it now that we've moved in to the newly renovated space. Now we just need to finish the other half.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow--5 years living in the demolition? I'm so glad it's done! How did you manage doing that?

      Delete
  2. I'm in that place right now, deciding whether to remodel and expand our little, old house or try to find something newer that can fit our needs. My aging parents are going to move in with us fairly soon and my dad has Parkinson's disease and will need to use a wheelchair full time pretty soon. So accessibility is now a need that we are including in the plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barb--This is exactly why I think more people should consider accessible design--ageing parents is a huge thing! We've had people come look at our current ranch and both so far have stated ageing parents as a reason. Well good luck with it all and let me know if you need any tips. ;)

      Delete
  3. We recently moved into our new home. We bought a house just one block from where we thought we'd live forever, but the lot is larger, and adjacent to a city park/woods. We lived with my parents for 9 months while construction was underway. The house was built in 1941, and although we kept a couple charming old features (the front door, a fish eye light fixture, one fireplace and surrounding built ins, a hallway linen closet), we gutted nearly everything and replaced it with a wild assortment of mid century and traditional features, some rustic farmhouse accents and thrifted finds...It's a bit random, and likely not magazine worthy, but we tried to choose things we love (and could afford) right now, and not worry about whether we'll love it all in ten years. We won't be redoing anything then, but what if we played it safe and chose something we just *liked* and never had the chance to LOVE anything about this space? We definitely suffered decision fatigue (we agonized over shades of white paint, and we've never thought about door knobs and hinges so hard in our lives) and we didn't have the added challenge of accessibility to consider. We still have blue tape on the walls marking touch ups, and we do not have curtains and rugs and artwork arranged. It is a PROCESS, and an overwhelming one for sure. Good luck to you!! Can't wait to see move-in ready photos!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! I absolutely love and agree with that mindset...don't guess what you *might* still like in 10 years, do what you LOVE now. Because if you don't, you might not ever get what you really love. Yes, the house being move in ready will be vastly different from the house feeling done. We lived in our current home for almost 4 years and there were still parts of the house I didn't feel were "finished." Of course a large part of that was because at some point I realized it we weren't going to live here forever and so I sort of stopped, but yes...moving in can take a loooong time. Good luck!

      Delete
  4. Miggy, this is marvelous! I LOVE before and after photos. I can't wait to see the finished product!! --M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I can't wait either...althoug as I said above, it could take another year to really move in. But hopefully having the base of the house already as I want it, it will go quicker.

      Delete
  5. Betsy2:43 PM

    We are just starting the process of remodeling our home to make it accessible. I was a kitchen and bath designer for years, and still have a lot of contacts in the industry, so I'm doing all the designing myself. Plus, I know what I need! I can't wait until it's done. Although my husband and I joke that we will have to be carried out feet first as there is no way we will ever move!

    ReplyDelete