A Universally-Designed Age-in-Place Master Suite Addition
Our homeowners, a retired occupational therapist and her husband a UW horticulturalist, were planning to age in place (AIP) and engaged our design + build team to help them create the master suite they’d envisioned. This project was done with a team of Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) and Certified Living in Place Professionals (CLIPP). Many universal standards were implemented into the project with the help of this highly educated team, including the lead carpenter/project manager, project developer, and designer.
As a medical professional, our client was educated in some UD and AIP standards, this was helpful, but also created some strife during the design. Universal Design is a building standard used to create spaces for all ages, sizes, shapes, and abilities. The existing home, a rambler was somewhat suitable for their aging needs, however, their adult son shared the home which made the situation unique. Thus, a private and accessible master suite addition was built to meet lifestyle and safety needs as they age. With a fixed income, our team planned for material and construction selections that would create a quality product within their means.
Some features of this remodel include:
- Windows and their sill heights were placed for all user types – sitting, standing, and/or in a walker/wheelchair. The windows allowed a garden view from all bedroom areas.
- All doorways, including the walk-in closet, were installed wider than standard openings, allowing easy access for anyone with or without assistive devices.
- To eliminate floor transitions our carpenters were required to reframe the entire flooring structure to level the surface between the existing home and the new addition.
- The home’s crawl space was a true “bunker” and 2 buried water tanks required removal.
- The grab bar to the right of the toilet was custom installed into a pocket door frame, requiring special reinforcement.
- The pocket door to the bathroom was designed larger than normal. Traditional hardware did not meet AIP standards, a larger handle was installed.
- The existing bedroom was very dark and cramped. To increase natural lighting, window and door placement was arranged to maximize sun and light exposure.
- In the shower, the floor plan was designed for maximum clearance. This will allow plenty of room for both to shower in the same area and assist one another as they age.
- A long linear floor drain was installed at the edge of the shower floor for drainage and safety.
- The cabinetry in the bathroom has a lower shelf for storage, which can be removed if needed in the future for chair use.
- The new addition has created a safe space for our clients to spend their days, nights, and many years.