Author Topic: Architectural Shortcomings  (Read 4205 times)

Offline Dick Stevens

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Architectural Shortcomings
« on: June 04, 2008, 07:23:06 PM »
Time for a new thread.  Architectural shortcomings are a pet peeve of mine.  So many of them are unnecessary.  For example, a generous 36" doorway costs no more to build than a narrow 30" doorway.  Finally, some newer homes like mine have the 36" doorways.  But 1000's of slightly older homes are plagued with narrow doors.  And it's far more complicated and costly to convert doorways afterwards.

So why did it take so long to catch on?  Wheelchairs are no wider today than they were 50 years ago, right?

We had the good fortune to be present during the building of our present home, and could order various accessibility features to be built in.  More on these in a future post.

So, what are you experiences in this area?

Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2008, 08:12:42 PM »
Dick, i agree with you on this one, but stop and think about 50 years ago, just where were the disabled persons at that time, if i remember that most of them where kept hidden in a back bedroom out of side and mind, and wheel chair were not that commen back then, when i was growing up i dont thing i seen more that one or two of them where i lived and that was on Sundays at the park, when they would let the person get a little sunlight and watch other people. We have come a long way and have a long way to go on this, it is just the matter of getting the designers to think about it more and more.

The reason that i can talk about this is because i had a niece that was disabled and that she needed a wheel chair to get around but was never given one, and spent most of her days locked up in her bedroom until she passed away.

When i bought my new house in California in 2003 there was a group that was fighting for this and found out that to make all new homes handicap accessible it would only add about 2000.00 to the price of the home, but i found out to late for that to happen and in one of the bathroom i could not get my wheel chair in to it and the door was only 24" wide. the other on i could but after getting in i could not turn my chair so had to back out and man did i have fun at times doing just that.

So i believe that it boils down to educating these persons that design new home to this fact and believe me it will be hard to do.
you-all have a great day.

Offline JClark

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2008, 08:52:23 PM »
Just a short note right now (yeah, it happens once in a while) check out "30 days" next week Tuesday June 10th.  It's on Spike, FX or something like that.  The focus is a professional sports person (now retired) who will spend 30 days using a wheelchair.

For those who've never heard of this show, they have a guy spend 30 days living the life of someone else and they broadcast the best 30 minutes (20 after commercials) showing the neat, cool, bad etc about the situation.

J-
North-East Pennsylvania
+Left foot------------+Right foot---------------+
|Accident 8/31/2002 |ankle fusion 1/8/2008  |
|Amp 7/11/2003      | RBK (Ertl)    4/7/2010 |
|Ertl June 2005        |                                  |
+---------------------+-------------------------+

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2008, 08:58:21 PM »
Yes, Jack. A sad legacy in our history.  So many people with various handicaps, especially mental, were off in massive institutions, out of public sight.  And many more, like your niece, who were trapped in their own homes.  How different might her life have been if she had that wheelchair - and had an accessible home she could have gone in and out of easily.

Progress, at least here in PA.  So many of these medieval state institutions have closed, and the former residents are now out in the community.  Long overdie.

But now, I meet many amputees whose homes are architectural disasters for them.  Making old homes accessible can be prohibitively expensive.  And not everyone can move to a more accessible home.  Stairs, narrow doors, cramped bathrooms, and so on.  You know what I mean.
Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline Steve C

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2008, 06:59:19 AM »
When I moved into my house I had two doors that were fierce narrow. I would touch my shoulders on the side when I walked in. I had to knock a wall and rebuild it over a 1.5' and widen the door to accommodate a wheelchair if its needed. The other door is still narrow and I can't really widen it.
When I lost my leg I was told over and over again by everyone who had a part in the rehabilitation that I can have my house modified. Grab bars etc. My drive is gravel and I was told that I can even get a grant to have it tarmac'd because I qualified as being disabled.

When I was fresh out of the hospital but before I got my first leg I used a wheelchair alot. Going into town was a nightmare. From up and down curbs and trying to get into shops, let alone maneuver once inside. It has changed now but outside the hospital their wasn't even a crosswalk or ramps down from the curbs.
Where ever I go, I'll always have one foot in Ireland   /   I'm not a complete fool. Some parts are missing.

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2008, 08:23:16 AM »
lHI STEVE, your right about some of the things, but some times those grants justs dont pay out like they say,

And wasnt it only about 10 to 12 years ago that they finally started puting in ramps at the street corners for the wheel chair users.

This house i have now was built in the 50's and have had to have a electric lift installed in order for me to get in and out of the house. there is a 35" drop or four stairs to go up and down, and a ramp would of taken up half of the car port to install and half of the front porch, so i oped for the lift. am having to place on ramp on one of the back doors so that i can ride my chiar into the pool house instead of having to take my legs off in there, and i have hard wood floors through out the rest of the house and with 4561 sq ft, to play in i some times have a ball. i was lucky and didnt have to change any doors, but then agian i checked it out before i bought it, just to make sure that i could get through all of them if i had to be in my chiar.
you-all have a great day.

Offline JClark

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2008, 12:52:46 PM »
The contractor just left, I have to have my front porch replaced, it's in bad shape.  I mentioned that I'd love to build in a ramp, but not sure if we can get one in that meets the codes in the space provided, etc.  He started telling me about his brother who has been in a wheelchair for 12+ years, and if there's a way to do it, they do them, and try and keep the cost as low on that part of the project as possible because they know how important it can be.

So maybe I'll get a ramp!  It'd be so nice.

Although it's gonna be an expensive summer.
New kitchen ~$4,500
new porch $unknown right now
new wheelchair $1,200 (old one worn out)

J-
North-East Pennsylvania
+Left foot------------+Right foot---------------+
|Accident 8/31/2002 |ankle fusion 1/8/2008  |
|Amp 7/11/2003      | RBK (Ertl)    4/7/2010 |
|Ertl June 2005        |                                  |
+---------------------+-------------------------+

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2008, 01:11:03 PM »
Ah, Jason:

We gotta keep ya rolling in style, right?  And a ramp out front would be a real plus for you.  It strikes me that with a little ingenuity it can be done.
Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2008, 03:20:56 PM »
Jason, go to this web site and see if you can use one of these lifts, i have one installed in my car port and man i love it.

www.saravia.com
On the search bar on the right type in saravia lifts and you may find something you can use.
I was cheaper than putting in a 35 foot long ramp, cause i have a 35 inch drop from to floor of car port, am putting in a ramp on one of the back doors, it is only 5 1/4 inch drop  and i can make that one myself. just need it so that i can get in and out of the house in my chiar if the power fails or i want to go swimming.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2008, 03:23:44 PM by pegleg jack »
you-all have a great day.

Offline JClark

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2008, 06:02:07 PM »
I went to that web site, but it doesn't come up with anything remotely close.  I know what sort of lift you're probably talking about though.  If you can come up with a link that's more direct, that'd be great.

Thanks.
North-East Pennsylvania
+Left foot------------+Right foot---------------+
|Accident 8/31/2002 |ankle fusion 1/8/2008  |
|Amp 7/11/2003      | RBK (Ertl)    4/7/2010 |
|Ertl June 2005        |                                  |
+---------------------+-------------------------+

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2008, 10:06:57 PM »
jason, will give it a try and see if i can find out better information for you
you-all have a great day.

Offline chrysochloridae

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2008, 07:00:43 PM »
i wholeheartedly agree with you Dick,

It wouldn't kill developers 2 add a few inches onto a doorway at the planning stage, nor would it b 2 much hassle 2 design amputee friendly bathrooms!!!!! it baffles me why they don't do this and market the property as wheelchair / amputee friendly!!!

Offline herb

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2008, 10:31:00 PM »
It really irritates me that businesses that were designed for wheelchair accessibility are often then made challenging for wheelchair users by the owners of the business. Often I have gone into a store such as Wall Mart or Home Depot which has wide isles that have been made impassable by merchandise displays or pallet of stock or racks of clothes placed right in the middle of the isle. I have skinned my knuckles many times trying to squeeze through or had to reverse and go a long distance out of my way to get what or where I want. I hate it ! Herb

Offline pyourke

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2008, 06:12:22 PM »
I agree with you Herb. I used to work in store planning and worked very hard to set standards that would allow disabled access for amputees as well as other disabilities. It was an ongoing struggle but I felt satisfied that some improvements were made. Since I retired however and the management team has changed, I am very disappointed with my previous employer. Blocked and narrow aisles are a regular occurance. Our Ontario Disabilities Act has no force and doesn't control this problem or even set manditory standards. It is all voluntary and needless to say, sales are directly related to square footage so stores jam every available foot of space. I've found that the American's with Disabilities Act is much stronger and stores in the US are generally more accessible than in Canada! Only in Canada... Pity!
Peter
BAK since '74

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: Architectural Shortcomings
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2008, 08:44:37 AM »
Pyourke, you are right and i have found out that by just saying that you are going to call or write to the ADA will make a manager jump and fix or clear out an isle so that we can get around, we have a chain store down here that is going to have to be reported and the is the DOLLAR STORES CHAIN, The DOLLAR TRIEE, DOLLAR GENERAL AND FAMILY GENERAL, the is no way that i can get around in a wheel chiar and at times it is hard for me to even walk in them.

And yes the AMERICAN DISABILITIES ACT has the power and teeth to make these stores comply with the standards.  It was just a couple of years ago that K-MART got nailed and had to widen all of the isles so that it was acseible to a wheel chiar.
you-all have a great day.