Sunday, 27 July 2008

27Jul08 - Adaptions Update

It is nearly a month since my last post about the adaptions we are having to our house for Lucy. It has been surprisingly painless and the work is almost complete. It was difficult to visualise how the room would look before hand and I had lots of little niggling concerns about size, space and if it would end up looking too clinical, especially with the ceiling hoist in place. On plan the layout looked alright although the area for Lucy's shower room did appear uneccessarily large. These days buiding regulations are very strict regarding access and turning space which dictates what you can and can't do with the space you have. I was also very concerned how the ramped access to the front door would affect the look of the house. The recommended approach is always to have railings at the side of a ramp for safety but in our case I didn't think it was necessary as the ramp did not need to be too steep and also it would make the front of our house look like the entrance to a clinic. To make matters worse we would no longer be able to use our front gate.It is fantastic that house adaptions like our are covered by local authority grants. I think adaption grants currently cover the cost of work up to £25,000. The work to our house was a long way below this threshold but it would certainly have been a struggle if we had had to cover the expense ourselves. People complain about goverment spending and public services but after all the help we have had over the last four years with Lucy and now this, I feel very fortunate to live in a country like ours.After approval has been granted for adaption works the local council sends the work out to tender. You have the choice to select which 3 contractors bid for the work. I decided this was the best option and selected small local contractors. It took about 6 months from tender to actually starting on site which I guess must be normal. Our contractor was a company call R A Berry & Sons of Holmfirth and I am naming them because they were brilliant and I would recommend them to anybody. They carried out the work efficiently and sensitively with very little disruption. There were a few things that we wanted changed during the works, like the position of the shower and there were also some extra jobs that we needed doing but they could not have been more helpful.The room has turned out very well and the concerns I had before hand prooved to be largely unfounded. The shower room is lovely and roomy and the bedroom is bigger than I thought it would be. The hoist is not too obtrusive and we have the option to store it out of the way in the shower room during the day.
The only slight hick up is the fact that we opted not to have a toilet in the shower room and with hindsight it would have been very useful. Originally it was thought that there wouldn't be space for it but there is plenty. Once it is all decorated it is going to look really nice. We have now got a lovely new front door with a lower threshold plate to make it easier to wheel Lucy in and out. We won the battle over the railings, or rather the builders did for us, and the ramp they have built actually looks really good. It does not look out of place with the front of the house and thankfully we will still be able to use our front gate as normal. So overall I am very happy with the outcome and it means that Lucy is properly catered for for the foreseeable future without adversely affecting the home.The next thing for us to do is to decorate which we have already started. Originally the room was going to be pink but after considering all the pink in the curtains, bedclothes and accessories that we have already chosen, and after some advice from our good friend Haley we now have a different colour scheme. I am quite excited about how it is going to look, I just need to find the time to paint which is not going to happen for the next week or so. All will be revealed.


josh.jthompson said...

I like the new voice feature dad

Anonymous said...

hello, Neil I have been trying in vain to contact you and your family. I dont seem to be able to email you for some reason.

Neil (my name is Neil too!) my family is identical to yours, our little three year old girl (Emily) also has Athetoid Cerebral Palsy. We have a younger son too. So two children Girl and Boy. Emily like your Lucy is beatiful too. Neil believe me when I say we understand, I am married to Amanda and we live in Luton, Bedfordshire. I would love to have a chat with you because I genuinely believe that as fathers of Disabled children we have so much in common.

I have exhausted all avenues trying to contact you and your family now. I will keep am eye on this blog and hopefully you can forward me an email address to contact you on.

Best Wishes to you and your Family

Neil, Amanda Emily and Zac.

Anonymous said...

Looks like all the plans are coming on really well, can't wait to see the colour scheme!!! Hope your all well and Josh is enjoying his summer
Lots of love, smiles and kisses