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Accessible housing and the tradeoffs of building new vs modifying existing property

Accessible homes are in demand in Chicago. But that doesn’t mean ADA-compliant homes are easy to find.*


Matthew Gill was 19 years old when he jumped into the Rock River in Wisconsin.He dove in, not realizing the depth of the water he was diving into, and hit his head, according to his father, Bill Gill.


Matthew’s spinal cord injury put him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.


Matthew’s childhood home in Lisle was no longer conducive to his new mobility. The split-level, five-bedroom, three-bath residence was too small.


When the Gills started looking for homes, they wanted to stay in their current school district for their youngest daughter (then in elementary school). But after looking at “hundreds of homes online” and viewing about 80 homes in person — seeking residences with first floor masters or ranch homes that could be remodeled — and not finding anything suitable with the help of colleagues and competitors, Bill, Baird & Warner’s Naperville branch manager decided to design and build their own home.


*Read the entire article by Darcel Rockett for the Chicago Tribune here.

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