Everything works better for everybody, a 5-Star family home

Everything works for everybody when it’s well designed. And a home is way more usable and accessible with Universal Design in mind. We worked with Michael Field on his home and he achieved a 5-Star Lifemark® rating. He accepted to testify on this case study and explain why Universal Design is the best option.

© Michael Field

– Comments from Michael Field –

What was your project when you start building this house?

Our wheelchair using son is getting older, and living in a 1960s concrete block house was getting more and more difficult. We only had access through the back door (via a ramp with two 90 degree corners), the house did not have an internal access garage, the bathroom was still lacking space and features (even though it had been retro-fitted), and hallways and doorways were becoming narrower as the son and his wheelchair got bigger and bigger. After looking at renovations or moving to a different house it became apparent that building a new, fully accessible house was the best option.

Why did you choose to work with Lifemark®?

Our needs were different from that of a ‘spec house’, and had a few ideas, but didn’t know how we could translate this into something a design/build company could act on. After much research we choose to build with Lifemark accredited provider, but they still needed help to adapt their standard designs to our way of living. An example of this was that rather than a separate lounge, dining and kitchen spaces we decided to have one large open-plan area making it easy to prepare meals while still caring for our son. It wasn’t until we reached the final design review stage that the Lifemark® designers could suggest design features that were missing or could improve. If I was to do it again I would get the plans reviewed earlier.

 

What do you think about your new home?

We live around the corner from a show home village with large, well-speced homes. If I had the option of any of them, I would still have our home without hesitation. The quality of living for all of us is just so much better. None of our visitors notice any of the design features or find the house at all odd or quick, everything is just like a usual house. It is usually only when they use the bathroom they realize it is a fully accessible home. And then, suddenly, they start to see the design features.
Everything just works better for everybody.

Accessible kitchen - Michael Field home
© Michael Field - Kitchen
Accessible Kitchen - Michael Field home
© Michael Field - Kitchen
Accessible bathroom - Michael Field home
© Michael Field - Bathroom
Accessible bathroom - Michael Field home
© Michael Field - Bathroom
Accessible bathroom - Michael Field home
© Michael Field - Bedroom
Accessible bathroom - Michael Field home
© Michael Field - Bedroom
Michael Field home - window
© Michael Field - Windows and doors
Laundry and garage - Michael Field home
© Michael Field - Laundry and garage

What is your favourite space?

I don’t have a favorite space, I like it all so much. But I do have a favourite flow though – In the morning it is bedroom, bathroom, dining table, without any sharp turns or back-tracking up halls. That would not be possible in any other house.

 

What is your favourite Lifemark® feature?

The truth, flush, level entry at the front door has to be my favourite. Being able to get in and out of the house without any sort of barrier is great.

PS: IT COST US NO MORE THAN A STANDARD BUILD

Entrance - Michael Field home
© Michael Field
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