The Projects That Made Us: Bertuzzi Accessible Reno
Over the past 20 years, we’ve been lucky to have some incredible projects — like this accessibility renovation.
One of our greatest joys as a company is being able to help our clients live more fully, whether that means building them their perfect home or renovating an existing space to make room for something new. We were in our element with one of our all-time favourite projects, an award-winning accessibility renovation for our client Norma Bertuzzi. Following a debilitating automobile accident, Norma had been unable to make use of her family’s cottage for 10 years. This problem is more common than you think — many older builds aren’t built with accessibility in mind — so we worked to implement solutions that helped bring Norma back to one of her favourite places.
One of the biggest concerns with Norma’s family cottage was keeping the family feel of the cottage intact, so we worked with the property instead of against it to make the home more accessible for her. Some of the major highlights of the project were installing a ramp to the front door, replacing the doors with lower thresholds to allow for a wheelchair, adding a wheelchair-accessible kitchen, bathroom, and building an exterior stair glide that allowed Norma access to the lake.
“After a serious accident, the cottage that I have been enjoying since childhood became a virtual prison. The entrance from the driveway and the exit to the lakeside deck were inaccessible. The kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms were difficult to use,” Bertuzzi wrote. “Randy Burke and his wonderful team at Evergreen (former name of Gilbert + Burke) gave me back my life at the cottage. I now have access to the cottage and lake deck and have complete independence in my new kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.”
While building new homes, adding renovations and creating new designs can seem superficial, that’s never our mission at Gilbert + Burke. The reality is, home building and renovations can change lives. With a little bit of help from us, Norma was able to reclaim the cottage that had once been the place of many happy memories for her and her family. Complete with some accessibility renovations, she was able to move on and make new memories in a space that continues to treasure her as deeply as she treasures it.
As the Bertuzzi renovation shows, accessibility is a massive piece of the Gilbert + Burke spirit. We built and donated an accessible kitchen to the March of Dimes exhibit at the National Home Show in 2006, and later donated that kitchen to A Place Called Home in Lindsay. We’ve been honored for our accessibility efforts — such as with our 2008 award at the Kawartha Lakes Aware Fair — and have continued to make accessibility a main segment of our business and heart.
See the full article on eronovate, first published in May 26 2016