France + Associates France + Associates
Going the extra mile for vulnerable clients.

At a time when the news is full of troubling headlines, we thought we’d share a positive story about professionals pulling together to quickly get a vulnerable client into their new home.

This is our client's story.

Our client was left severely brain damaged following an accident at work. Wheelchair bound, and with severe mobility and communication difficulties, he is cared for by his wife. The couple have always wanted to live in Scotland, and following the accident, relocated there and have spent several years living in unsuitable accommodation.

Our client is represented by Kim Daniells and Michelle Crudas at Harrowells Solicitors, and is supported by a Bush & Co Case Manager, Katie Campbell. After his case settled, France + Associates were approached to help find a suitable home for them, and we enlisted the help of our Scottish Associate, Bill Crawford, a Chartered Architectural Technologist.

Finding a suitable home proved to be a challenge! Our client and his wife were clear about exactly where, and the type of house they wanted to live in, which unfortunately was found to be unsuitable due to the age and construction of many of historic buildings. France and Associates introduced them to more modern detached properties in an area of Scotland with excellent amenities, a park to walk to close by and in relatively “flat” part of the country. The search for a suitable property took several years. After a lack of success of finding something suitable, we worked collaboratively with Harrowells to carry out a leaflet drop to several homes within a “target area”, due to the suitability and flexibility of the type of home in that area, enquiring whether they wished to sell. This strategy proved to be successful in that it elicited some positive responses however, ultimately (despite even getting to the stage of preparing some design options), the sales didn’t quite come off.

Eventually, a house came onto the market within the target area and we were quick to help our clients snap it up and set about devising a new design scheme to suit our client's specific accommodation needs.

 Accessible architectural design

The house the couple purchased is a well-proportioned two storey house built in the early 2000’s. The majority of space in the house is downstairs (which suited them) however, in order to design a scheme that fully met our client's accommodation needs, it was necessary to lose a portion of the downstairs living space. To compensate, we therefore incorporated into the design a downstairs extension.

Other features of the accessible design included:

·       Widened doors, level thresholds and raised external areas for level, wheelchair access throughout the home

·       Conversion of rooms for specialist wetroom facilities

·       Carer’s accommodation

·       Open plan layout design to incorporate family preferences on entertainment and connection with the garden where our client is to spend a significant time planting and potting

·       Central fire place again our client's preference, located within the central family space to enjoy.

·       Fitting of specialist ceiling hoist tracks within the specialist bedroom and wetroom. Space finding ways were sought to minimise impact on our clien't space with a larger than average chair

·       Incorporating a unique personal choice on colours and materials used onsite, such as Victorian style floor mosaic tiling, natural wood plank feature walls to name but a few.

·       Landscape design and installation to the garden, to provide raised plantbeds for use whilst in a seated position

A race against the clock to finish!

When news began to break about the spread of coronavirus, the professionals supporting our client and his wife realised that it was a race against the clock to get the property finished to enable the couple to move in quickly. If we didn’t, it could be many months before the property could be finished and the couple move in.

We therefore co-ordinated and very closely managed the final stages of the build in order to finish the work as swiftly as possible. This included coordinating the construction team to move works forward, arrange for visits and appropriate legislative documentation to be in place, taking delivery of last-minute equipment, such as our client’s specialist bed. Due to a delivery problem, Bush & Co we’re able to source a temporary bed for him.

Our client and his wife were not due to move into their new home until wk/co 13th April 2020, but everything moved forward by two weeks to accommodate a pandemic spreading within the locality. We would like to wish them both much happiness in their new home!

For more information, contact us on
01484 960560 or email us +

Related News +