Seth McBrideMy wife and I recently bought a duplex with my sister, a three-story, 1916 craftsman with no hint of accessibility to it. Where we’ve lived previously, accessibility modifications have been minimal — a ramp to get in, a shower bench and a grab bar for the bathroom. As long as there aren’t a bunch of different levels and the doors are wide enough to fit my chair in, I can typically make do without a lot of specific accessibility features, or so I thought.

The main floor unit of the house, where we now live, has a tiny bathroom with a claw foot tub and an ill-designed kitchen with an island jammed in between an alley of cabinets. The rest of the house is beautiful and had exactly the kind of space and character we were looking for. So, I pulled some rose-colored glasses over my eyes, and we decided to go for it.

Once we moved in, I realized that, technically, I could make it work. But this didn’t factor in how much of a pain in the ass it would be to transfer into and out of a claw foot bathtub every day and do dishes