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Stricter ADA laws could be coming for Austin homes

Discussion in 'Accessibility' started by jar546, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    Stricter ADA laws could be coming for Austin homes

    Austin debates requiring changes for new homes

    http://www.kxan.com/news/local/austi...r-austin-homes

    By Omar Lewis

    January 22, 2014, 9:23 PM CST

    AUSTIN (KXAN) - If you're in the market to buy or build a new home, you may have to pay a bit more to make your home disability friendly.

    Next week, the Austin City Council will vote on requirements for new houses that would make it easier for disabled people to visit Austin homes.

    The guidelines now in the works would require all newly built homes and duplexes to have the following:

    A pathway into the home with no steps; it doesn't have to be the front door

    The door has to be able to clearly open 32 inches

    There must be a clear route to a kitchen and bathroom that is 32 inches wide

    There must be a bathroom on the first floor

    Light switches on the "visitable" floor must be 48 inches high; outlets must be 15 inches high

    "I think its a really good thing," said Brian East, a lawyer with Disability Rights Texas. "People often come to us complaining about inaccessible housing and a lot of times the law doesn't require it to be."

    But the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin says they have several concerns with the proposed law. They say the increase in cost for home buyers will drive more people to buy homes outside the city.

    "This would increase the average price of a home about $2,000," said Harry Savio, with HBA of Greater Austin. "For every thousand dollars you increase the price of a home, that's 1,500 families that can't afford to buy the house."

    If passed, some of the requirements for builders would kick in within the next 90 days, and all the requirements would take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

    Right now about 6,800 homes in the city limits already meet that standard. Many of those homes are in the Mueller development.

    The Austin City Council will vote on the item Jan. 30.
     
  2. mjesse

    mjesse Registered User

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    5...4...3...2...1..

    :popcorn
     
  3. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    Should be options..........just sayin. A 36" door to a bathroom, that has to be on the first level, accessed without steps?

    I'm all for accessibility, but 100% of the new housing stock should not have have features for a possible future small market segment.

    JMHO :popcorn
     
  4. rshuey

    rshuey Registered User

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    That's BS. If i went a jet tub I pay to install it. If they want lower switches and a bigger door, pony up.
     
  5. Msradell

    Msradell Sawhorse

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    Interesting subject. I'm disabled and obviously in favor of accessibility standards and complete observance of the ADA requirements however I have some problems with this requirement. As mentioned by an earlier poster number of people requiring all of these accessibility issues is relatively small in comparison to the general population although it is currently. Some of these standards, such as having at least one accessible doorway into the structure makes sense since they would allow a disabled person to visit someone living in the home. However some of the other standards, such as the one relating to light switches may actually make the home more difficult for the average individual to use. I also don't see where the $2000 figure for the cost to implement these requirements come from. If they are designed into the structure from the start the cost of development should be considerably less than that and in some ways the requirements would be cheaper to implement than other options.

    It will be interesting to see how the meeting on the 30th goes as far as passing these requirements.
     
  6. MASSDRIVER

    MASSDRIVER Registered User

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    For discrimination to be legit, it can't just be in certain locations. It must be proven across the board. This is the next step.

    Remember when I asked if the true believers abide the ADA into thier own dwellings?

    Incoming.

    Brent
     
  7. RJJ

    RJJ Platinum Member

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    Interesting at best!
     
  8. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    The changes proposed are "Universal" in nature, no cost impact only logical considerations. Contractors (most any way) already use tape measures, these are merely tape measure changes and beneficial to all of us.
     
  9. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    In big developments I could see at least a percentage being required (like townhouses) under town planning....for one person building their own house, I don't see it...
     
  10. MASSDRIVER

    MASSDRIVER Registered User

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    Wait until you have to have your house modified before you can sell it. That's not far overthe horizon.

    All of a sudden it won't be just about "tape measures". And a G or two won't be as easily dismissed.

    Brent.
     
  11. conarb

    conarb Registered User

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    With all the money behind the disability industry and the Alinsky style obnoxious activist groups I knew it was coming, on the last home I built I did all exterior doors level in and out, I did curbless showers in all baths, all doors are a minimum of 2'8" with most 3' and egress at 4'. At this point we live in a totalitarian society with massive redistribution of wealth to all suspect classes, in this case to the disabled.
     
  12. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    It is to make it easier for disabled people/family to visit Austin homes.
     
  13. tmurray

    tmurray Registered User

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    This is the way it is here. Anything above four units requires 10% of them to be accessible with a minimum of one.

    Before working as a building inspector, I designed houses and oversaw on site construction and tried to incorporate accessible design into all of the designs I did. Now that I'm a building inspector I'm floored over the amount of people in their later years of life that have two storey houses built without a way to easily create a bedroom on the main level.
     
  14. Keystone

    Keystone Registered User

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    The Canadian's are coming, opps sorry just the lawyers and agenda machine.

    The bldr response IMO is weak at best, cost.... What about the 1st response being something along the lines of say my right to build a home the way I see fit. Once upon a time a mans home was his castle, well the moat is drying up and the draw bridge is going down for everyone to enter.
     
  15. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    And your point is?

    What if your parent were in a wheelchair or uses a walker and you have a crawlspace house?

    Visitability is the term here to be considered.

    If you don't want to resell it in the future then "don't" do it.

    Disabled buyers are increasing in number every day. Its a fact of life.
     
  16. kilitact

    kilitact Gold Member

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    First fire sprinklers now this. What next your car, bike.
     
  17. Keystone

    Keystone Registered User

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    As a matter of fact I do have family with disabilities and we as in family and the indivual have made appropriate adjustments, and your point is?

    Why should vistabilty as its put fall onto the backs of everyone?

    Why if I chose to build a new home should I make my home vistabilitized, why should anyone be made to mandated to do so?

    If I dont want to sell it in the future then dont, well what about when I go to renovate and the plan review is rejected due to the lack of vistability upgrades?
     
  18. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    It is always easier, and cheaper, to do it when the dwelling is first built.

    It becomes an issue when the basement is "semi" buried. And not so much when you have slab on grade.

    to provide a wider hall or a bath for a t turn does not cost more, it eats up a little sq. ftg. of the adjoining rooms, not cost.

    They are not proposing full accessibility. And it is nothing new.
     
  19. mjesse

    mjesse Registered User

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    What about the conjoined twin population? Or maybe little-people, or those with gigantism?

    Let's mandate all homes have 48" wide double doors 8' high, with combo door handles at 18", 36" and 48" a.f.f.

    All residential bathrooms shall have at least two toilets, one high-one low, and a power operated vanity that adjusts height based on your individual needs.

    American are getting fatter, and we're all going to be disabled eventually.

    No more stairs, single stories only, all existing two story homes shall be leveled or equipped with gurney sized elevators.

    If you disagree, I'll assume you're a bigot who hates conjoined little-people who marry obese giants.

    Happy Friday
     
  20. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    If I were one of those little people, or giant, I would not expect to go car shopping and find that every car is going to work for me, I would find one that did, or have it customized..........
     

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