When looking at remodeling options to better age in place the addition of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) could be a worthwhile consideration. It is an extra living unit on your home’s property complete with kitchen, bathroom and sleeping facilities. An ADU may be located either inside, attached to, or detached from, the primary home on your property depending on your local regulations.
Also known as a “mother-in-law-apartment” an ADU has many uses, such as housing for an aging relative, a caregiver’s residence, extra guest housing, space for an office, rental unit for extra income.
Emory Baldwin, ZAI principle architect and 2009 Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) of the year, is producing a new, pre-fabricated, ADU product called FabCab that we think is worth checking out.
These ADU’s are both Universally Designed (appropriate for a wide range of people, with varying abilities) and ‘green’ (environmentally sustainable). The FabCab ADU is a space designed to be supportive of a wide range of ages and abilities with accessible features that are invisible.
They can be a free-standing structure or attached to an existing house via a customizable breezeway structure. The FabCab is designed to be at a grade providing easier access for people in wheelchairs or children in strollers. Full size appliances can be used in a FabCab.
The FabCabs are available in 3 sizes: small (449 SF), medium (538 SF) and large (800 SF). Customers choose the finish colors and style. The construction process takes about 3 months.
Check out the website for more information: http://fabcab.com/
Related: Check out the Baldwin House Showcase an urban solution for an ‘aging-in-place’ home with features that may seem intended for a person with a disability but that make everyone’s lives easier as well.
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Outstanding design, this looks like the home of my dreams for me to retire in, and many other Boomers that are down sizing. Or placed on my kids lot I can be part of the family and have some privacy when wanted. The future looks bright for this kind of building, out west we have had so much land with big houses and now we are re-thinking the subject for other reasons in deed.
These are designed very nicely and have a great flow to them. In the northeast however having an Accessory Dwelling unit that is not attached to the home could present problems when we have big snow falls. In the northeast we are attaching modular additions like this to a persons home which is creating the same personal space for the person using it as well as not dealing with the problems that would arise with it not being attached to the home. There are obviously different options for different parts of the country. This ADU is nicely designed and there needs to be more incentive and awareness about these types of structures and others as alternatives to a nursing home or assisted living.
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