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 Post subject: Elder Accessible Cabin
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:23 pm
Posts: 249
A friend of my sister asked me last year if I could help with her parent's cabin. This couple in their 80's love this retreat. They built this cabin over a period of 20 years mostly by themselves with the help of family, friends and neighbors on a small lake 20 miles from Hibbing.

But age and time are catching up. I find I am now balancing his desire to finish off so he can hand a completed project off to his children, with her growing physical limitations. For example last fall (when I became involved) I drywalled and painted the sleeping loft and built a half bath with a composting toilet because she could barely get to the outhouse. Balancing pride with necessity is always a challenge.

So what I would like is any thoughts you may have on improving accessibility.

The Cabin sits back from the lake about 110'. There is about a 15' drop from the cabin to the lake. The ground rises rapidly behind the cabin to a ridge about 30' above floor level about 60' back. The property includes a nice little sand/gravel/rock pit.

This weekend I'll be building a railing down to the lake and finishing the exterior paneling on the new half bath. If all goes well I hope to be able to start to replace the cinder block entry stairs with a more permanent entry way large enough to eventually support a wheelchair ramp.

Some of my immediate concerns:
If I stand on the roof I can just get cell phone coverage. Is there some way I could boost that signal so they would have an emergency option? (I did install a bell and informed the neighbors).

The cabin does have power but not water, They are bringing in drinking water and carrying up washing water from the lake.

There is one Major structural problem. The crawl space is extremely wet. The freezing cycle has pushed out the back wall of the foundation and cracked it. This is entirely due to the water level. The wet crawl space is at the same level as some surrounding standing water so seepage is coming from below. The foundation is not heaving up and down at all. I of course cannot fix the foundation until I take care of the water. So over the summer I will be digging a sump and drainage system in the crawl space. The problem is that they would really prefer a wind powered solution.

Any thoughts or suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Elder Accessible Cabin
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 362
Nick would be the guy to help you with this one. All I can offer are pithy Lovecraft references:

"As long as it's not an Elder God Accessible Cabin."

-Try the veal.


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 Post subject: Re: Elder Accessible Cabin
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 2:33 pm 
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Location: Maple grove
The one problem i can help with is there are boosters designed for cell phones in buildings to boost the signal in those hard to reach areas.


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 Post subject: Re: Elder Accessible Cabin
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:31 am 
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The cell phone problem could be solved by permanently attaching an antenna

http://www.alternativewireless.com/impr ... ignal.html


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 Post subject: Re: Elder Accessible Cabin
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:54 am
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Location: Coon Rapids
I'd like to see you try to keep an Elder God OUT of a cabin.

idris_arslanian wrote:
"As long as it's not an Elder God Accessible Cabin."


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 Post subject: Re: Elder Accessible Cabin
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 1:35 pm 
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Location: Eagan, MN
HASTUR HASTUR HASTUR

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 Post subject: Re: Elder Accessible Cabin
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:06 pm
Posts: 319
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Quote:
The problem is that they would really prefer a wind powered solution.


http://www.mdpub.com/Wind_Turbine/index.html
good site for building a homemade wind turbine and its storage system. could be connected pretty easy to connect to below

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_4866_4866
Protects your home against flood damage! Every homeowner with a sump pump should consider the possibility of a power failure, which is most likely to occur when its raining. Sounds an alarm when your AC-powered sump pump fails. This 12V standby system takes over automatically to help protect against flood damage when the power fails.

looks like this one comes with a standard car battery enclosure. just disable alarm since it would serve as a primary pump.

_________________
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 Post subject: Re: Elder Accessible Cabin
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:03 am
Posts: 363
Location: Maple grove
be sure to test your battery and its charger regularly. Had one in my roommates house in Champlain, power failed battery failed basement flooded.


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 Post subject: Re: Elder Accessible Cabin
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 3:02 pm 
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Posts: 118
Location: Minneapolis, MN
yah. theres a lot that can be done.
but not all of it involves building or buying new stuff.

free: re-organize.
if nothing is above counter level, then most things are within reach. make sure walkways have enough room for canes, walkers, wheelchairs. wider doorways are nicer than most.

cheap:
grip and grasp wanes in the later years - foam insulation over toothbrushes and utensils work amazingly well. looped rope pulls are easier to work than solid handles.

mid:
grab rails. everywhere.
home automation. those remotes with ginormous buttons? ugly as sin - but they work well. x10 controllers tend to be popular too (and cheap).

pricier:
ramps. wheels are good. the curb/step is the enemy of the wheel.
accessible cabinetry is really fancy, but rarely needed if you organize right.

plenty of guidelines:
http://www.adaptiveaccess.com/home_changes.php
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/designm/AD3-01.htm
http://www.wbdg.org/design/accessible.php
http://www.vet.purdue.edu/cpr/bsd/building.html
http://www.uniteddesign.com/accessible_plans.html

lots more stuff to think about - but i gotta get back to work


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 Post subject: Re: Elder Accessible Cabin
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:23 pm
Posts: 249
Nicholas Lee wrote:
lots more stuff to think about - but i gotta get back to work


Thanks Nick.

A cabin has some unique problems. First and foremost it more than a house has an emotional context. A freedom and lack of limits is associated with it. Most cabin owners actually go to work on it (at least halfheartedly). So my main task is to be as subtle as possible while maintaining the overall goal of extending their ability to use it.

So when I framed the bathroom I included to grab bar supports. As I replace the cinderblock entry with a permanent entry. I will consider the later addition of a wheelchair ramp. Short and long term goals have to be balanced.

More below...


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