10 stereotypes about accessible housing

1 . “An Accessible house looks like a hospital”

Despite the clichés, it’s possible to have an accessible home that totally matches your taste, whatever it is. But a picture worth a thousand words, so here are a few examples of accessible homes that have nothing to do with hospitals:

Higham ArchitectureDon JamieSonLockwood

2 . “It’s very expensive to build an accessible house”

Absolutely not! If you think about this at the start of the house’s construction, the cost is almost nothing. For example, 70% of Lifemark™ accessibility standards cost less than $10 to implement.

3 . “It’s only for old or disabled people, I don’t need it”

Naturally, people imagine that accessible housing is only reserved for the older or disabled person. However, improving the accessibility of your home also improving it for you!


For example:

  • You break your leg during your holidays: what a joy to have a shower without having to go up the stairs!
  • You just have had a child: How practical it is to be able to easily enter the front door with the stroller or to help your children get into the car without scraping your car door on the walls of a narrow garage.
  • Dinner time! You have several glasses in your hands, how easy it will be to open the doors because they have lever door handles.
  • You have slept badly and have a terrible back pain: fortunately, your power points are high enough to avoid bending down too far.
  • You cook and have your hands wet or oily: lucky you! Your kitchen drawers are so easy to open!

4 . “You need a large house if you want it to be accessible”

Most people imagine that you need a house with lots of space to make it accessible. However when the doorways and shower is a bit wider … it looks better anyway. Here is an example of smaller but still accessible home:

5 . “This is too hard to implement”

Obviously, you will have to think about the plans and talk with your architect and builder, but by choosing them well, and making sure they are Lifemark™ Accredited partners, you will find it is not difficult to get the design you want.

6 . “Construction delay are longer for an accessible house”

Once again, if the question of the accessibility is taken seriously at the very beginning of the project, the construction time will be the same for any house. The Lifemark™ certification process is quick and we provide feedback to the designer on most plans within 2 days.

7 . “It’s difficult to find a specialised architect”

Many architects are aware of accessible design but don’t include this because it isn’t requested by the customer. To ensure you choose the right person, you can look through the independent accredited partners listed on the Lifemark website to help you find the best professionals for your house project.

8 . “All the furniture and fittings seem to be old fashioned”

A lot of brands have developed modern furniture and fittings that are designed to be accessible. Here are some examples from our partners products ( BlumMethvenResene and APL):

9 . “It will be way difficult to sell the house later on”

Just the opposite! What better selling point than explaining to the new owners that they will be able to age comfortable and live easily in this house for as long as they want? But, perhaps, with a house so well designed, you may not want to leave.

10 . “I need a flat and level building site to build an accessible house”

Not really! A number of sections in New Zealand are steep and yet … there are accessible houses! You will need to consider the landscaping and maybe a lift in some cases, here are a few examples:

DNA Structures – Don JamieSon – Lockwood

Now, you will not be able to say that you did not know!
You’ve got all the keys to build an accessible house, what are you waiting for?

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