annken

Moving home for two disabled women

annken
5 years ago

we both live alone, wheelchair users and identical twin sisters with a rare genetic condition which is progressive. we are moving back to our county, co. dublin from co. wicklow.

we have two amazing bungalows but now we hope to shack up together with all our wheelchairs and mobility aids etc.

we would still like to have a separate home, where we have in effect two homes in one, and one room for meeting up and connecting with each other.

does anyone know if this has been done before and how successful it has been and what we should be seeking out regarding size, space and room designs etc.

yes a huge project but one we are determined to do.

Comments (35)

  • PRO
    Appel + Hardwick
    5 years ago

    Hi Ladies, the overall floor space has to be large in order to both have your own space, it sounds to me like you need to find a large plot and build a single storey home to your spec and I guess that would all depend on finances, maybe you sell one home, and shack up together in the other home whilst you build a bungalow for two? You know better than anyone else what your requirements and needs are in terms of the layout of a home for ease of every day living and I would imagine that any home you look at will have to be pretty much raised to the ground to adapt to your needs so it seems sensible to start from scratch. You can also claim back the VAT with a new build (assuming the laws are the same in ireland, that way you will shave 20% off your build costs. Good luck with it

    Sarah

  • PRO
    OnePlan
    5 years ago

    hi Ladies - what a fab idea ! I bet you will have lots of fun living separately, but together, within the one home. The chances of finding something that will suit you both are pretty slim - but I assume you have gone done the usual phone calls to estate agents route already ? Will you need (in the future ) a third living / sleeping area for a live in carer too ? I do think Sarah made a valid point about maybe building somewhere to suit ... however - if this is out of reach and you want someone to cast an eye over any prospective home purchase - I'd be happy to give an honest opinion. These days most properties for sale are advertised online, so just send me a link ! hope that helps !!

    kindest regards to you both

    Karen

    OnePlan

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  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    ah karen, thanks so much. we know its a tall order, we also feel maybe a plot of land. the problem too is selling first in order to provide for the next. thats an issue alright. we have started looking online and an estate agent has suggest we do not put up for sale until spring, to give us a chance to view what is there now that the 'silly season' is over and people begin to sell now, evidently now and spring are the high times in ireland to sell up. not a bad idea. it is not an easy time. i guess i know what i am doing, many may say otherwise!!!!

  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    yes, the option is to see a small property with some land and build on, i think that is about our best option really and one that i will look out for. i have seen some not many. to find two small properties together may not be possible, it would be the freak show if that happened!

  • Katherine KEANE
    5 years ago

    annken

    It may be challenging to find the space required for accessibility in existing properties. You may discover that purchasing existing properties will require a complete redesign to satisfy your accessibility requirements as well as the combining of two units. Typically space planning for wheelchair access will increase the floor area required and impact layout. You will find that during the "Celtic Tiger" property demand, square footage was reduced to satisfy demand. In older period property you may find the square footage to adapt to your particular needs. Currently in Dublin property prices are now rising so you will have competition for available property. Is it an urban or rural setting you would prefer? You might consider a site which can be custom developed to your needs, providing all the access functionality and ease of maintenance you require. The other option might be to liaise with a developer in the early stages of a development and plan to combine two units into your particular desired living situation. In this case you could retain the separate identity while including the shared facilities. In this situation, design consideration could also be provided to improve potential future sale value. If you identify the location you want, you can research proposed developments, and initiate discussions with the developer regarding a custom unit purpose designed to your needs. Your project offers a very interesting design challenge.

    annken thanked Katherine KEANE
  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    thanks everyone i know its a design challenge! Katherine Keane and Stellahome and everyone, i think realistically we will go for a smaller property with land doesnt have to be huge but then to add on to take advantage of this. they are losing up the requirments now for these extensions, whether this is a good idea or not to do this by the gove is a whole new debate. it can be open to abuse and gerry building. i do not think any one single property can be divided in such a way. thanks,

  • PRO
    Pat Oliver Interior Design
    5 years ago

    Since your needs are very specific and you need to look to the future to deal with changes over the years, you may want to consider speaking to a company that makes wood framed kit houses. They have a number of basic designs that you can adapt to your own needs.

    Alternatively, speak to an architect who routinely designs for the disabled. Not only will the architect design the structure you need, but they can oversee all aspects of the building work to get you a perfect finished product.

  • Jennifer M
    5 years ago
    An ken would you consider going through dermot bannon - room to improve programme - I think coco is the production company. It would make for a very interesting journey for you both and I for one would be keen to view. Good luck with your venture whatever you decide!!
  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    yes i did, he is chocker block with clients he says. the fact being buying is first and than sorting the rest next.

  • milfordmaid
    5 years ago

    @jennifer - that'd be great to see Dermot sorting out this home. Would annken sisters be able for him?

  • milfordmaid
    5 years ago

    Would 2 semi-detached properties, bungalows/cottages, be an idea to convert? There would be 2 kitchens, 2 bathrooms, minimum 2 bedrooms. 2 living rooms could be knocked into 1 joint living space. Might be difficult to access 2 at the same time, but might be something to put to auctioneers? Are stairs ruled out - with stair-lifts?

    annken thanked milfordmaid
  • milfordmaid
    5 years ago

    Or Dermo might be able to add on a second cottage/bungalow if only 1 available on a large enough site.

  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    we could both end in wheelchairs both in and outside. we are more in then out these days. we would love two side by side but that near impossible i guess but no harm keep trying, found quite a few online tonight but there is a twin who goes from 'yes we can' 'no we cant' will someone tell her how the hell will she know it works or not unless we try. or i will upsticks on my own

  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    am going to see two properties (for two!) tomorrow, i am unclear if its 'on' with twin but there you go. both are fabulous and within price but then there would be little left over, another is a bit run down and bit cheaper so three there actually. twin cant come as she has two doctors appointments to go to.


  • fenderesky
    5 years ago
    Hello! I stayed in a house just like this on the Isle of Wight. It's a National Trust property : originally owned by two sisters who designed a house with identical wings which meet in the middle when they fancied seeing each other. Own bedrooms, bathrooms, living room and kitchens. It's spread out over the first floor so gaining stunning views of the sea below; but not at all wheelchair friendly! You could design a similar place on the ground floor funds allowing!

    Its national trust as nothing has changed since the 1970s: completely OTT decor but amazing none the less! I attach the NT website but this doesn't do it justice. Perhaps Google for more info. good luck with the search!
    http://www.nationaltrustholidays.org.uk/holiday-cottage/chert-st-lawrence-isle-of-wight/
    annken thanked fenderesky
  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    ah thank you so much for this, we visited two properties today one was great but tiny garden the other amazing garden divided into two but wait for it, born again christians on one side who prayed over us and i am sorry although they were fun, i think my ability to be sustain attempts to be converted would see me in the local lunatic asylum. so not good not good!

  • acquilega
    5 years ago

    Hi ladies.

    We found ourselves in a somewhat similar situation. My husband has been in a wheelchair for a number of years and I will be in one sooner rather than later. We were ,however, not looking for 'double everything'. We spent quite a while looking for a bungalow that we could convert. Our experience has been that because of the amount of conversion required it does not cost more to buy a house in very poor condition,knock most of it and build to requirements,than to fiddle around with a house in good condition.

    So. I would agree that the best solution is to try and find a plot with or without a building on it.

    Have you got even a basic design from an architect so that you could see how much space you would need? It might help when looking at what is on the market to filter out properties/sites that would be too small. Also, it seems to me that since you say you are in now more than out a garden of whatever type is essential--so a bit more space for that.

    One of the comments referred to VAt refund. We have just applied for one. The form from the Revenue contains provision for vat on appliances and asks you to attach any further info.We have applied for a refund on things like ramps-extra wide doors etc. Hopefully we will get a reply soon.

    Also don't forget the Home Improvement Scheme. It is set to run out this year but hopefully will be extended.

    Now, as to finances is there any possibility your bank would advance the purchase monies on the basis that they get it back out of the sale of your own? I know they have not been very helpful in recent years- to put it mildly.

    Finally, I would have to say that having an architect on board was worth the money. Some people were saying it wasn't necessary.

    We live in Wicklow too, so if we can be on any help re our own experience or the vat situation when we know exactly what it is just send your E address.

    All the best.

    Acquilegia







  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    oh i would love to get in toiuch and i agree it is far better to buy a clapped out joint and do it all up from scratch yes we will get an architect on board and i wonder how you pm people on this thingy her Houzz! best of luck with all yur own works gong on.


  • acquilega
    5 years ago

    Great.

  • PRO
    OnePlan
    5 years ago
    Hi ladies - if you both 'follow ' each other - you can then private message each other !
    ;-)
  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    ha i pressed following and am following but canno find the pm button. she is into gardening too!!!

  • PRO
    OnePlan
    5 years ago
    I think you both need to be following each other ? If you have no joy - both contact me through the 'contact me ' button in my pro page and I'll hook you both up together !!
  • acquilega
    5 years ago

    Hi.I am having trouble figuring out how to follow. Would be great if you could hook us up.

    Acquilegia

  • acquilega
    5 years ago

    Hi Annken.Still trying to hook up. Have given site my e mail, maybe if you did the same? I avoid facebook

    annken thanked acquilega
  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    hi acquilega i have sent on my email and it should be on your houzz page as new message.

    as to my other followers et al, still looking at properties, all now too expensive and its going to be increasingly difficult i think, but wonder now are there any schemes out there by charities or whatever if someone was to help now they could then be helped on our death, its only a consideration at present i absolutely do not know.


  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    we are 'on hold' the 'self-build' expo is at city west this weekend would love to get there, i have a van to take two wheelchairs, but very tired these days, anyone going and maybe there we can pick up a wheelchair? we are in wicklow. love to see it, sunday or monday, think it still on on the monday. xx


  • annken
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    the project is now well and truly 'on' again! ha! we saw some properties last weekend and will visit more next just to see what we can do and some ideas etc.

  • Emmeline Westin
    5 years ago

    Wonderful, keep updating us!

  • Yasmine S.
    5 years ago

    Dear Houzzers Misses, I love your idea and hope you will get soon your beautiful dream.
    Best regards to you

    annken thanked Yasmine S.
  • annken
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    i saw a mysterious plot today very near where i want to be, so am going to try and find out who owns it and what is the access, planning etc and fast!

  • Jennifer M
    4 years ago
    What's for you won't pass you by!! Good luck to you both. Love hearing the updates
    annken thanked Jennifer M
  • annken
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    not alot happening at the moment, its winter! alotta rain, lotta. but i am bedding down to get this over with and maybe in the spring the spirits will rise once more. i hope so. i would love to feel i was doing something to keep my hopes and dreams alive, i dont see what i can do until the spring. when i bring the topic up, especially to those that moved away and came down this neck of the woods, they say they had friends who felt it was too far too and moved back home. i guess thats how i feel, thats what i want and i just want to be a bit more uplifted, i think rain dampens down things a bit!!! santa Ma Margaret!

  • annken
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    when we were in the uk, at the Rare diseases unit, it was warm, very warm, a solution to the absense of fans and the abundance of hot air, what do we do, well we do this, ha

  • Yasmine S.
    4 years ago

    Bonjour, I wish you all the best.
    Hope your home dreams will really happen

Ireland
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