The home has a number of features to ensure accessibility.
- All doorways in the house are 36” allowing easy access for furniture or a person using a wheelchair. Electrical outlets are located 16” above the floor and switches 41” above the floor to accommodate people of any height.
- A chair or platform lift can be easily installed on the straight run stairs.
- The features in AFRESH Home’s kitchen include the use of D-handles on cabinets and drawers that are easy for stiff fingers to operate, as well as electrical switches and outlets located at the front of the counters for access by anyone. A simple upgrade to the sink ensures it can be used safely and comfortably by anyone short or tall. The microwave is in an easy-access cabinet and is also an energy efficient cooking source. Other healthy housing features include a non-slip ceramic tile over water-resistant underlay which helps keep the work area safe. Low-emission tongue and groove plywood and low-emission solid wood face frames on the cabinets won’t trigger allergies, asthma or chemical sensitivities.
- To help you breathe easier in your home, a heat recovery ventilation system supplies fresh air to all living spaces, and exhausts moist stale air from the kitchen, benefiting people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.
- Stacked closets on both the first and second level can be turned into an elevator shaft to accommodate a person using a wheelchair.
Affordability is one of the key principles of AFRESH Home. While incorporating these features slightly increased the capital cost of AFRESH Home, homeowners can expect to recover the cost, and actually begin saving, through reduced energy and maintenance costs.
And with flexible housing design, the money owners invest up front is usually significantly less than what they would have to spend later on extensive renovations. As their lifestyle changes, their home can then be easily and inexpensively adapted to suit their needs. Even better, a house like AFRESH Home can be turned into a revenue generator if it’s converted to a duplex.
Last but not least, if occupants do decide to sell, because the home suits the needs of a wide range of Canadians and is less expensive to maintain and operate, it’s attractive to purchasers.