Dreaming up the ideal Great Grandma’s house

My grandparents have been living in the same house for almost 40 years.  They have immigrated here from Taiwan in the mid 80’s and have decided to set their new roots here.

This house have become the center of the family, the place where everyone returns to, for both special and mundane occasions.  Now my children, the 4th generation of the family here in the States, are also setting part of their root in this house.

The house has 2 small bedrooms and a master suite, one small bathroom, a living room, former dining room, kitchen, and a family room.  It is a good size house consider the time period that it was built.  However, it does reflect the time when storage areas are not a priority, and that the safety of egresses has not been made into the building code.

Things that I like about this house:
– It has a good yard that grows fruits and vegetables year round.
– The semi-Japanese style landscape in the front yard.
– It is on top of the hill, which has an awesome view of the city and plenty of sunshine for hang drying clothes.
– Huge yard for the kids to play.
– On a typical day, there is a nice breeze in the back patio area.

These are things I want to change:
– Small kitchen in the middle of the house, which is a major traffic junction.  Everyone have to walk through the kitchen to get to another part of the house.
– The family room door to the yard has no landing, but opens to 6 concrete steps going down natural grade, which is very dangerous.
– The windows are so old that some of them can’t open, and the interior shutters are falling apart.
– The closets are narrow and deep with only a small door to access.
– Windows on the west side of the house makes part of the house unbearably hot in the afternoon.

Before my grandfather passed away, he dreamed up a second story addition. However, now that my grandmother can barely walk, the priority came to making this home easier for her to move around.  I have sketched up countless floor plans and dreamed up numerous possibilities to make this house better, and appropriate for someone who is physically disabled. However, until the whole family is serious about making improvements to this house, this project will just remain on the drawing board.

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