By: Lee Ann Wynns
1700 Smithwood Drive Marietta, Ga. 30062 3BR/3Bath 4 Sides Brick Ranch
Click here for more details: https://www.dorseyalston.com/properties/6419296/1700-smithwood-drive/
A thoughtful 2018 renovation delivers beauty and function. The smart renovations ensure this home is barrier-free and beautiful.
Built on almost 3/4 of an acre, this home was built as a classic, three bedroom, red brick ranch home on a basement in 1965.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the ranch home was an entirely new kind of house and nothing like it had been seen in Georgia before. These mid-century homes were casual, family oriented and forward looking compared to many other styles of architecture built before this post WWII building boom. 65 Years later ….ranch homes are popular and in high demand.
True “universal design,” “barrier-free,” “stepless ranch” homes are popular with buyers who want to stay in East Cobb and age in place. According to Cobb County Economic Development, there are 741,334 people living Cobb county. 10.1% of those residents are over 65, and Cobb is the third largest county in Georgia.
Nearly 80 percent of Baby Boomers say they would like to stay put in their current home for as long as they can. Yet, many homes aren’t built for aging, or accessible for those with disabilities. As such, nearly 60 percent of Boomers (45-64) said they intend to relocate to a one-level home and nearly half said they’d be looking to downsize, according to a poll conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for AARP.
The trend toward simplicity and functional design that appeals to everyone is evident in this carefully updated home. Before the homeowner even purchased this home, she knew it had to be modified to be more accessible as stairs were becoming more of a challenge each day. So, she called on Jim Karl of All in One Accessibility. Jim consults with buyers before the purchase to help determine if the home in question is can be renovated to meet their needs, and if so, he designs the space and provides an estimate of costs prior to the purchase.
Jim explains, “Universal design elements are features that allow homeowners to age in place. Universal design also allows barrier-free access to anyone in a wheelchair or with mobility issues.”
Jim goes on to say, “If done purposely and with thought, universal design elements incorporated when a home is built or when a home is remodeled is marketable to 100 percent of buyers.”
5 things to look for if you are considering a barrier-free renovation:
- Wide doorways and halls. Or, the ability to widen doors and halls. Many older homes only have 24″ and 28″ wide doors. 36″ wide doors and halls let wheelchairs pass through easily. Wide openings also make it easy to move large items in and out of the house. In this home, the doors and facings were removed, and the doorway was able to be widened. Barn Doors are used to make the space work.
2. Open floor space is a must. Everyone has the space they need, and people in wheelchairs have more space to turn. In this particular home, the previous owners opened up the small rooms and converted two small bedrooms to a large master bath and bedroom.
3. No Step Entry. No one needs to use stairs to get into a universal home or into the home’s main rooms. One way to evaluate if there are too many steps to make a ramp feasible is to check the height of each step. As a general guide, one 6.5″- 7.5″ step is it. In order for a ramp to be safe, the length of the ramp should be one foot for every inch of height. So, a six inch step requires a 6 foot ramp to be safe and useful for someone in a wheelchair, or for someone with mobility issues.
- 4. One-story living. Places to eat, use the bathroom, and sleep are all located on one level, which is barrier-free. Ranch-style homes are not the only homes that can be renovated, but the main living has to all take place on one level.
- 5. Floors and bathtubs with non-slip surfaces help everyone stay on their feet. Bathrooms need ample space, at least 5 feet of open space is a good guide. If you are looking to purchase a home to renovate, the bathroom could be your most expensive room. In this shower below, the drain pan had to be replaced to ensure the zero-entry shower drained properly. All the tile floors were taken up, waterproofed and retiled. Now this beautiful bath works for everyone!
I am a Senior Real Estate Specialist. A Senior Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®) is a real estate agent who is uniquely qualified to assist home buyers and sellers ages 50+. The SRES® designation is awarded only to real estate agents who have additional education on how to help seniors and their families with later-in-life real estate transactions.
If you or someone you know needs help with real estate, contact me and let’s start a conversation. This home lists for 345,000.
Lee Ann Wynns, Dorsey Alston Realtors 404-680-7859.
Resources used in this blog:
Jim Karl, All in One Accessibility: http://www.allinoneaccess.com
John Macdonald Photography. Mobile: 770 337-0500. website: www.jcmac.com