There are tons of home makeover shows, it seems. And I think the real appeal of them, apart from the whole attraction of transforming something ordinary into something extraordinary, is the idea that a new home means a new life. Stories like this take on extra poignancy when it sheds light on those who volunteer time and resources to help create this new life for someone else.
I found this article about volunteers who built a home for a war veteran, having returned from Afghanistan in a wheelchair. The home was built by an organization in Massachusettes, Homes For Our Troops, which organized a number of builders to construct a home for Chuck Isaacson and his family as a thank you for his sacrifice.
What alerted me to this story, and something that I actually had noticed while watching the myriad of “home makeover” type TV shows, is that wood flooring, including hardwood and laminate floors, are very often the go-to surfaces in homes where one or more occupants require wheelchair accessibility.
This is of course makes a great deal of sense, in that the smooth surfaces make access a breeze. But, I think it also shows that just because something is practical, is doesn’t mean that looks don’t count too. Hardwoods, high-rated laminate floors, and engineered floors tend to deliver on both.
It feels like accessibility is becoming a given in modern building, not just a specialized area of the home plans industry. Yet, there are many homes and public buildings which were established long before the idea of accessibility became a mainstream concern. As such, it seems to me that a greater transformation has yet to occur; when those who depend on accessibility can go anywhere without barriers, physical or otherwise.