FlexHousing™ - Design of the Times

Flexibility is an integral part of today's lifestyle. Flexible work schedules, flexible child care options, flexible borrowing and investment options…. All give people the freedom to make personal choices that work best for them and reflect their individual needs.

Doesn't it make sense that your home is flexible too? Designed with your needs and preferences in mind, not only for today but also for the future? A comfortable home that can accommodate changes and new priorities in your life? That's the basic idea behind FlexHousing™, an approach that was developed by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and is used by a growing number of professional new home builders.

FlexHousing™ has tremendous benefits for homeowners and is easy to build into any brand new home. Pre-planning at the design stage means less renovation and fewer potentially expensive changes down the road. In fact, it may make it possible for you to stay in your home even if circumstances in your life change significantly. And the common-sense approach to design and construction means that FlexHousing™ is convenient, safe and comfortable to live in for all members of the family.

Design and construction

Planning to start a family or looking forward to an empty nest? Having an aging family member moving in with you? Setting up a home-based business? Faced with mobility restrictions? Milestones in your life tend to create their own demands on your home and often affect how you use space. A professional new home builder can offer many suggestions that will make it easy for your household to adapt to changes.

  • Expandable homes designed for easy integration of future additions as the need arises or your budget allows.
  • Use of non-load-bearing partition walls for easy installation or removal, so floor space can be opened up or divided.
  • Roughed-in plumbing and other services to the attic and basement for future use.
  • Covered entranceways with on-grade access and plenty of maneuvering room inside and out for strollers and wheelchairs, or if you have an armful of groceries.
  • Extra-wide hallways and door openings with plenty of swing-room for doors.
  • Unobstructed movement throughout the house; level floors—no sunken or raised areas, or thresholds.
  • Adequate space in most rooms, including bathrooms, for wheelchair access.
  • Large easy-to-open windows for plenty of natural light; placed low to allow a view from a sitting position.
  • Sound insulation between floors and in some interior walls.

Safety and convenience

  • Well-lit entrance doors with window inserts, sidelights or viewing holes.
  • Effective lighting throughout, with easy-to-reach push-pad light switches; three-way switches and sound- or motion-activated lights.
  • Non-slip flooring, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens; non-scald faucets.
  • Easy-to-move lever-type door handles and faucets.
  • Well-planned work areas, particularly laundry and kitchen; moveable or multi-level counters and storage areas are an option.
  • Easy-access control panels for mechanical systems.

Specific accessibility and mobility considerations

  • Support for grab-bars in the bathroom walls.
  • Support for a wheelchair lift in the walls of stairways.
  • Stacked closets on main and upper floors for conversion to elevator shaft.
  • Pre-planned integration of future ramp for wheelchair access to the home.

Automation and pre-wiring

FlexHousing™ promotes pre-wiring for safety, security, entertainment and work. It is more economical to wire a home during construction than after it's been completed. Then you are free to install the actual systems and appliances when you want or need them.

  • Telephone, cable and computer wiring, outlets and jacks throughout the house.
  • Security systems for fire and break-ins.
  • Intercom, audio and visual.
  • Whole-house automation.

For more information about FlexHousing™, visit Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s website at www.cmhc.ca or call 1.800.668.2642.

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