I sent out 5 or six emails the end of last week looking for leads about house renovation. So far one call, and it is an interesting one from a designer. The man doesn't have particular experience with home design for disabled persons (though he said he had worked with such issues in institutions) but he said he has 50 years experience in design, contracting, architecture, and engineering (he is now semi-retired). I asked him to define what he would do for us and he said he would want to examine the house carefully and take measurements, discuss with us in detail what we wanted, including explaining our alternatives for different cost and quality, and then produce a design for us. Once we have the design, if we wanted his help with finding contractors, etc., he would give us a proposal and we could choose whether we wanted to contract with him for that. I asked him how much having him do a design would cost, and he said $500 to $800. That's worth it just for what we will learn, whether we use his design or not.
John liked my description--he felt that because this man wouldn't be trying to sell us something he would be able to tell us whether the house is really suitable for what I'm thinking we could do with it. So finally I'm making progress. Though meanwhile the roof of the house we live in how is leaking, when I thought I had solved that problem.