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House design improves with experience

We refer to people with mobility problems in particular, which, as a result of a recent accident we have come to understand.

We focus in this article on house design and facilities to be provided/are required. 

Usually, people who buy/build their own house are on average aged 30-40, an age with limited medical and other problems seemingly a long way away.


·         Ideally one should build a house on one level (ground) but then bearing in mind the small size of building plots that we have (±600 sqm) this takes up much more land, reducing the garden size etc.


·         You will notice however that even with single-storey units, architectural features come in, such as split level floors, sunk/elevated kitchen and guest bathroom, steps leading to bedrooms etc.  Yes, they add to the appearance but at an older age and/or with children, these steps become both problematic and dangerous. This problem escalates as age/living years is extended (expected life span in Cyprus for men is 80 years old and women 85 years), whereas young children require increased vigilance and the installation of various gadgets (e.g. gates, cameras).


·         As we come to know better and after the necessary installations of pools, we are now incorporating in the design private lifts.  Regarding the swimming pools and with special regard to children/disabled people, the pool should have a maximum depth of 1.50-1.80 metres at one level.  No diving board and provide steps access which are better than a ramp (it takes more space) with a handle (two ideal or at least one and steps).


·         Regarding access on upper/lower levels, make a provision (if not of immediate need) for a private lift (with wide doors opening to cater for a wheelchair).  Yes, it can be expensive (provision cost €10,000 and final cost €30,000), be it a lift of hydraulic design. Alternatively, and should you consider this as being expensive, opt for an electric chair which costs around €8,000, but make sure that the stairwell is wide enough for such equipment to be accommodated.


Of course, there are many other parameters that we should take into account depending on the requirements of the individual and care is required especially for buildings on uneven ground and the actual access to the house from the road.


As we have reported the majority of house builders/purchasers are at an age when these special facilities are not of priority, so it is reasonable that the resultant increased costs (inevitably) will not be compensated fully by a potential future buyer.


So, we become wiser as time passes, and we appreciate through experiences. 


On our part, we refuse to go/visit bathrooms on the first floor of a restaurant or in the basement  – not worth the hassle and better to opt for another place.


Source: Finacial Mirror



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