CMHC FlexHousing ™ Videos


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FlexHousing™ Introductory Video

{Visual}: Photo montage of family, senior citizen, and wheelchair bodied woman

Our lives change with each passing year, and our housing needs change along with us.

{Visual}: Office, Living room, Bathroom

FlexHousing is an approach to the design, construction and renovation of homes to make them more affordable, adaptable and accessible to everyone, as we move through different stages of life.

{Visual}: Kitchen, Loft

At first glance the houses don’t look any different, but simple and strategic modifications have huge impact.

{Visual}: Woman in wheelchair entering home

Barrier-free access welcomes everyone in.

{Visual}: Man walking in hallway

Wide doors and hallways allow free-flowing manoeuvrability.

{Visual}: Man using door handle and faucet.  Woman opening oven door

Easy-to-use door handles, faucets and appliances are more than just a convenience — they are a gift of independence.

{Visual}: Elevator

Homes designed with the future in mind, and with flexible features incorporated into construction or renovation, save time, stress and money later on.

{Visual}: Electrical outlet, construction photo, floor plan. Modular wall separating office/bedroom space into two separate rooms

Pre-wiring, pre-plumbing and careful advance structural planning of a house allows homeowners to easily and affordably sub-divide areas, expand space, or convert rooms.

{Visual}: Woman removing bathtub cut-out, photo montage of family, seniors, singles and the wheelchair bodied

FlexHousing helps to meets the changing needs of every kind of occupant — families, empty-nesters, singles working from home, the elderly, or those with physical challenges …

{Visual}: Bedroom, Living room

…and helps them stay in their home through all life’s phases and circumstances.


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FlexHousing™ a Welcoming Home

{Visual}: Exterior of home

FlexHousing welcomes everyone in.

{Visual}: Woman in wheelchair entering home

Gently sloped, step-free walkways lead to spacious covered entrances.

{Visual}: Elderly woman entering home/overhead balcony

Guests and homeowners stay dry when they arrive, and the overhead protection helps prevent snow and ice build-up.

{Visual}: Elderly woman using keyless entry pad

A keyless entry pad is easy for older children and those with limited mobility to use — and no fumbling to find keys.

{Visual}: Woman in wheelchair in hallway

Extra-wide doors lead to extra-wide corridors, so everyone can move freely.

{Visual}: Man doing laundry

The single-unit washer/dryer saves space and completes each laundry load from start to finish, making this routine chore easier.

{Visual}: Low electrical outlets

Electrical outlets on the walls and on the cabinetry are placed within easy reach of anyone.

{Visual}: Man checking electrical outlet

Locating the electrical panel on the main floor means no need for basement trips.

{Visual}: Man sitting in living room

Windows are large and low enough to provide a beautiful view.

{Visual}: Window levers

Controls and locks are easy to reach and easy to use.

{Visual}: Office/Shower

Simple, affordable and carefully thought-out design features make life comfortable for all —

{Visual}: Elderly woman reading in kitchen

— now and in the future.

Kitchen #1

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FlexHousing™ Kitchen — I

{Visual}: Kitchen

Well-designed FlexHousing kitchens leave plenty of room for easy movement and easy access.

{Visual}: Woman in wheelchair using pull-down cupboard rack)

The shelving, the counters, and the appliances accommodate differing needs, yet are useful for all.

{Visual}: Woman in wheelchair using low counter to prepare food

Counters that are 34 inches high instead of the standard 36 inches are much more comfortable for wheelchair users.

{Visual}: Woman in wheelchair sliding in under-sink counters for easy access

The cabinet doors below the sink slide out of the way to allow unobstructed use.

{Visual}: Woman washing vegetables in sink/Ample knee space under sink

Off-centre drains provide roll-in knee space under the kitchen sink.

{Visual}: Kitchen

The doors integrate beautifully with the surrounding cabinetry when closed.

{Visual}: Man moving wheeled island under kitchen counter

Below the cooktop, a wheeled cabinet glides easily in and out of place. This allows homeowners to use it as tucked-away storage.

{Visual}: Woman using cook top

The cooktop controls are at the front so seated cooks don’t reach over hot elements.

{Visual}: Cook top knobs

Colour contrast between the knobs and the background make these tactile controls more visible to the visually impaired.

{Visual}: Under cabinet lighting

Under-cabinet task lighting also helps them as they work.

{Visual}: Elderly woman using wall oven

The wall oven door opens to the side.

{Visual}: Man using fridge/Woman in wheelchair using freezer

Both the refrigerator doors and the bottom-mounted freezer are much easier for people in wheelchairs to use.

Kitchen #2

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FlexHousing™ Kitchen — II

{Visual}: Kitchen

Many subtle and affordable kitchen features make a not-so-subtle difference in the lives of people with limited mobility…

{Visual}: Elderly woman opening kitchen cupboard with pull-down rack

…or those interested in having easy to use and functional spaces.

{Visual}: Cabinet handles

D-shaped cabinet handles are easier to grasp than round doorknobs, or doors without hardware.

{Visual}: Woman operating faucet

Anyone can turn on the single-lever faucet even if their hands don’t have the ability to grip tightly.

{Visual}: Using garbage

The garbage is hand-operated with a simple touch…

{Visual}: Oven/Dishwasher/Appliance controls

…and the oven, dishwasher and other appliances have easy-to-use, tactile controls.

{Visual}: Kitchen/stainless steel appliances

The design even takes into account visual impairment. Contrasting tones and colours allow the visually impaired to distinguish changes of planes and surfaces.

{Visual}: Wood floors

The flooring is durable and slip-resistant. The light-coloured flooring reflects natural light and creates a visual contrast between the floor and the cabinetry.


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FlexHousing™  Bathroom

{Visual}: Bathrooms

Applying FlexHousing principles in the design of bathrooms ensures plenty of room for movement of wheelchairs or walkers, and facilitates transfer to toilets or bathing areas.

{Visual}: Woman in wheelchair washing hands in sink

The sink counter is an accessible height, with knee space underneath.

{Visual}: Under counter knee space

The drain is plumbed to the rear, so no bruised knees when someone using a wheelchair needs to access the sink. 

{Visual}: Woman in wheelchair/Elderly woman looking in mirror

Tilt mirrors are convenient for anyone, standing or seated. Standard mirrors, installed no higher than one meter above the floor, can also be used by seated people or children.

{Visual}: Shower

Bathing areas accommodate those with limited mobility.

{Visual}: Woman removing bathtub cut-away

Bathtubs have cut-aways for safe entry.

{Visual}: Wheel in shower

Wheel-in showers with floors sloped to the drain are beautiful, easy to use and functional.

{Visual}: Various types of grab bars

The grab bars, near the toilet and around the bathing areas, are attractive while providing valuable but discreet assistance to bathroom users.

{Visual}: “Before” construction photos

The walls behind these areas were reinforced during construction.

{Visual}: “After” bathroom

Now grab bars can be easily and inexpensively installed anywhere along those walls as needed


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FlexHousing™ Modularity

{Visual}: Kitchen/Shower/Bedroom/Bathroom

As thename suggests, homes designed with FlexHousing principles can be adapted more affordably — andwith less disruption — to life’s changing needs. They are the future inthe present.

{Visual}:  Mainentrance/Modular wall dividing space into 2-units

With thesimple addition of a door, this entrance to a single-family, two-storeydwelling could become the entrance for two separate living units later on --either for family members or to provide an additional source of income.

{Visual}:  Livingroom/Construction photo of living room/Living room

Thesewalls are pre-plumbed and pre-wired, so with very little effort and cost, thisroom could be adapted to become the kitchen in an upstairs apartment.

{Visual}: Bedroom/Modular wall separating bedroom into two separate rooms

Thissingle room, designed with two windows, two doors, two closets, two lightfixtures, and separate switches can easily and cost-effectively become two separaterooms for more children or to add a home office.

{Visual}: Closets/Elevator

Homescan be designed with stacked closets — one above the other — where an elevatorshaft could be located in the future. The shaft is pre-wired and the floor andwall structure are already built so the elevator can be installed withoutspecial wiring or re-framing.