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Building for a Lifetime [Hardcover]

Margaret Wylde , Sam Clark , Adrian Baron-Robins
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 1994

Building for a Lifetime signals an important change that is taking place in the way we design, build and remodel houses.  Traditionally designed houses work well for young, able-bodied adults, but not so well for people who are injured, chronicially ill or simply aging.  With houses designed and built to accommodate change, people of all ages and abilities can enjoy an independent and satisfying life without having to move.  This landmark book shows how such houses are planned, built and appointed, and how they can be attractive and distrintive architectural creations as well.  Whether you're planning a new house or undertaking a small-scale remodeling project, this book will inspire and inform you.  It will force you to think about the broader issues of residential architecture, construction and product design.  Building for a Lifetime sets a new standard in the field by providing design and construction details that will help you.

  • Choose an appropriate site and design accessible approaches, driveways, ramps and entrances
  • Select the hardware, applicances and systems that work best for all people, regardless of their abilities or disabilities
  • Design better doors, windows and stairways
  • Build or remodel kitchens and bathrooms
  • Understand accessibility goals and standards
  • Create a living environment that meets your expectations of aesthetics, function and self-expression

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Product Description

From Library Journal

The authors of this useful guide are authorities on building and accessibility. Their book is an outgrowth of a research project called "Laboratory for Efficient and Accessible Design 2010," a study that was prompted by the consideration that in the year 2010 the first baby boomers will turn 65. The well-illustrated volume comprehensively details the reconsideration of finished living environments while examining the various areas that must be considered for accessible design. Accessible design starts before the design process and--surprisingly--usually runs counter to most contemporary building designs. The benevolent humanity embodied in these design suggestions is a delightful trend to see in building design and construction. A necessary addition to gerontological and construction collections.
- Alex Hartmann, Bloomsburg Univ. Lib., Pa.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Sam Clark is a builder who has worked with owner-builders since the late 1960's. His book"Designing and Building Your Own House Your Own Way" helped thousands of people manage their building projects. He is also the author of "The Motion-Minded Kitchen", and co-author (with Margaret Wylde and Adrian Baron-Robbins) of "Building For a Lifetime". Sam works with Iron Bridge Woodworkers and with The Buildings Group (accessible design and facilities planning), both based in Plainfield, Vermont.

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More people can potentially benefit from accessible design than from conventional design. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Hardcover
I got this book because I was planning to build a house which I want to be accessible for future years. This book was really more than I bargained for. I think EVERYONE should read this book before designing their home, even if they think they don't care about needs for future years. One of the best features of this book is that it points out where required accessibilty, or accessibility standards are often completely insufficient--probably because they were developed by able-bodied people. They have now done a lot of research on what gives people trouble, and improvements on the required standards that are far better. This book covers every aspect and room of your home, inside and outside. It is well-written, in plain English, with plenty of pictures and drawings that are EASY to comprehend. This book is expensive, but well-worth every penny.
Was this review helpful to you?
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
It really helps to lead you in the design and placement of all items and objects, as well as the general layout of you houseplan, rooms and location of house on lot, to make it more convenient and easier for you to get around no matter what your age, height, or physical strength is. It helps you decide the right height for switches, outlets, windows, etc., where they should be in proximity to doorways, beds, work zones, etc. It also gives a good discussion on types of lighting, why and where each is best suited, types of switches, step heights, ramp heights and lengths, the need for less steps, proposing the need to consider letting mechanical aids do the work rather than tired or frail and aging bodies. Helps lead you to the thoughts of doing your exercise in the gym and not be forced to do it in the house. Gives an excellent discussion of what and how for heating, air conditioning, lighting, everthing that goes into a house. It also gives excellent pointers as to what scales to use in creating your house plan drawings to avoid confusion and mistakes by the builder in implementing your plans. Compares accessible building standards to the currently accepted building standards and provides the reason for the departures from the norm. A lot of information is provided on the methods of testing and developing the standards that this text espouses, sort of like in depth and pragmatic time and motion studies. Much of this can be ignored by the reader, but for the doubters out there it does fully explain and support the standards and approaches provided.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for home building/remodeling May 19 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The best single volume I've seen on designing a house that works for you (not against you) throughout your lifetime. Excellent information on decline of strength and ability with age, and some excellent ideas on making a "handicapped accessible home" that looks like a thoughtfully designed home instead of a hospital. Plenty of real-life examples, many of them no more costly to implement than the standard US housing market styles, and solid information on remodeling to fit needs.
Written for the general public, not specialized professions like architect, contractor, etc., it is readable and practical. It is designed to help you think through the possibilities rather than offering cookbook solutions and plans.
It should also be required reading for church building committee members, etc, though not officially addressing churches and other public buildings.
Buildings well-designed to meet the needs of people with various disabilities are also well-designed to meet the needs of people without disabilities. This book will help you do just that.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answers question of where do I put..., how high should it be Sept. 6 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It really helps to lead you in the design and placement of all items and objects, as well as the general layout of you houseplan, rooms and location of house on lot, to make it more convenient and easier for you to get around no matter what your age, height, or physical strength is. It helps you decide the right height for switches, outlets, windows, etc., where they should be in proximity to doorways, beds, work zones, etc. It also gives a good discussion on types of lighting, why and where each is best suited, types of switches, step heights, ramp heights and lengths, the need for less steps, proposing the need to consider letting mechanical aids do the work rather than tired or frail and aging bodies. Helps lead you to the thoughts of doing your exercise in the gym and not be forced to do it in the house. Gives an excellent discussion of what and how for heating, air conditioning, lighting, everthing that goes into a house. It also gives excellent pointers as to what scales to use in creating your house plan drawings to avoid confusion and mistakes by the builder in implementing your plans. Compares accessible building standards to the currently accepted building standards and provides the reason for the departures from the norm. A lot of information is provided on the methods of testing and developing the standards that this text espouses, sort of like in depth and pragmatic time and motion studies. Much of this can be ignored by the reader, but for the doubters out there it does fully explain and support the standards and approaches provided.
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for home building/remodeling May 19 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The best single volume I've seen on designing a house that works for you (not against you) throughout your lifetime. Excellent information on decline of strength and ability with age, and some excellent ideas on making a "handicapped accessible home" that looks like a thoughtfully designed home instead of a hospital. Plenty of real-life examples, many of them no more costly to implement than the standard US housing market styles, and solid information on remodeling to fit needs.
Written for the general public, not specialized professions like architect, contractor, etc., it is readable and practical. It is designed to help you think through the possibilities rather than offering cookbook solutions and plans.
It should also be required reading for church building committee members, etc, though not officially addressing churches and other public buildings.
Buildings well-designed to meet the needs of people with various disabilities are also well-designed to meet the needs of people without disabilities. This book will help you do just that.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST Book ANYONE Can Read Before Building Their Own Home April 20 2002
By Imperial Topaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I got this book because I was planning to build a house which I want to be accessible for future years. This book was really more than I bargained for. I think EVERYONE should read this book before designing their home, even if they think they don't care about needs for future years. One of the best features of this book is that it points out where required accessibilty, or accessibility standards are often completely insufficient--probably because they were developed by able-bodied people. They have now done a lot of research on what gives people trouble, and improvements on the required standards that are far better. This book covers every aspect and room of your home, inside and outside. It is well-written, in plain English, with plenty of pictures and drawings that are EASY to comprehend. This book is expensive, but well-worth every penny.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a very informative book July 18 2007
By Ginger Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book provides a lot of good information about building an accessible home. It is more oriented towards new construction, however, it includes a chapter regarding remodeling and a lot of the ideas for accessible new construction could potentially be incorporated into an existing home. This is the best resource on this topic that I have found so far.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WELL WORTH IT! Jan. 28 2005
By Pattie Vretis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Although the book is a little dated (1994) the concepts are great and something anyone building or remodeling a home should consider.

Don't assume your builder already knows how to build for a lifetime.
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