New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

SMA fundraiser | Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Aug 06, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

The Love, Hope & Strength fundraiser for Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Saturday, August 10, from 7-10pm

The Love, Hope & Strength fundraiser for SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) is this Saturday, August 10, from 7-10pm at the Flanders Art Gallery (302 S. West Street, in Raleigh.)

Spinal Muscular Atrophy is the number one genetic killer of children under the age of two, and it affects hundreds of families in NC. This is the largest event in the Triangle dedicated to finding a cure. 

The silent auction at the event will be held in a setting with fine art, cocktails, live entertainment, and families who support the cause. Five-time Emmy Award winner, Debra Morgan of WRAL News, will serve as emcee for the Love, Hope & Strength Fundraiser.

You can read more about the event here: http://www.fsma.org/Fundraising/EventsCalendar/index.cfm?id=7704&eventRedirect=1&type=1154

The motor neurons affect the voluntary muscles that are used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. It is a relatively common "rare disorder": approximately 1 in 6000 babies born are affected, and about 1 in 40 people are genetic carriers.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) refers to a group of inherited diseases of the motor nerves that cause muscle weakness and atrophy (wasting). The motor nerves arise from the spinal cord and control the muscles that are used for activities such as breathing, crawling, walking, head and neck control, and swallowing. SMA is a rare disorder occurring in approximately 8 out of every 100,000 live births, and affecting approximately 1 out of every 6,000 to 10,000 individuals worldwide.


SMA affects muscles throughout the body. In the most common types, weakness in the legs is generally greater than in the arms. Sometimes feeding, swallowing, and respiratory function (e.g., breathing, coughing, and clearing secretions) can be affected. When the muscles used for breathing and coughing are affected and weakened, this can lead to an increased risk for pneumonia and other respiratory infections, as well as breathing difficulty during sleep. The brain’s cognitive functions and the ability to feel objects and pain are not affected. People with SMA are generally grouped into one of four types (I, II, III, IV) based on their highest level of motor function or ability. - copyright Families of SMA


Click here to learn more about Families of SMA.

Stanton Homes is a proud sponsor of the event, as one of the programs we support in conjunction with our dedication to helping families with accessible needs.  Stanton Homes is dedicated to employing the latest technologies and design expertise to help alleviate the hardships of immobility, ALS, loss of limbs, and other challenges. Click here for more information.

Tags: accessible builders, SMA, accessible homes, wheelchair accessible homes

VA Specially Adapted Housing Approved Floor Plans

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 @ 16:10 PM

VA Specially Adapted Housing Approved Floor Plans

VA Specially Adapted Housing Builders in North Carolina

Looking for custom home floor plans that meet Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) requirements?  

Specially Adapted Housing approved floor plansThe Department of Veteran Affairs offers Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants to veterans or servicemembers who meet qualification standards.

Home builders must follow very specific processes to meet SAH guidelines.

 - Additional inspections throughout the process

 - Submission of substantial documentation proving that the home will meet all requirements

Experts at Stanton Homes can create or customize any floor plan to meet your specially adapted needs - within the SAH guidelines. And we have the experience to make this process easy for you.

Check out some of our most recently built SAH approved homes:

Specially Adapted Housing approved floor plans This VA Specially Adapted Housing approved floor plan, a version of the Blackhawk, features: 

 - 1,793 square feet

 - 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

 - Gourmet kitchen with island, custom tile backsplash

 -TWO tile bathrooms with roll-in, fully accessible shower

 - Accessible master suite with custom tile bathroom

 - Kitchen open to great room

 - Rear screen porch

 

Click on the floor plan image to request a full flyer and cost estimate for this Specially Adapted Housing approved home plan.

Specially Adapted Housing approved floor plan with Mother-in-Law suite

Specially Adapted Housing approved floor plansThe Dugan is our most popular VA Specially Adapted Housing approved floor plan. This version of the fully accessible Dugan features:

 - 3,184 square feet

 - 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

 - Entire 2nd floor MIL Suite

 - Elevator

 - Roll-in master shower

 - Roll-under vanity

 - Huge master closet with center island cabinet designed for wheelchair maneuverability

 - Accessible kitchen with roll-under sink, lower cabinet microwave

What does the Dugan cost to build? Click on the floor plan image to find out.

One story SAH floor plan

Specially Adapted Housing approved floor plans Another favorite VA Specially Adapted Housing approved floor plan is the Ellsworth. This version features:

 - 2,904 square feet

 - 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

 - One story living

 - Accessible Master Bath with roll-under vanity

 - Roll-in shower in Master Bath

 - Kitchen available as fully or partially accessible

 - Formal dining with butler’s pantry

 

 

 

Get full size images of this floor plan, and a complete cost estimate (no surprises - includes every detail you need to build). Click on the Ellsworth image.

Specially Adapted Custom Home Design

Specially Adapted Housing approved floor plans

 This last VA Specially Adapted Housing approved floor plan, a version of the Paige, features:

 - 2,185 square feet

 - 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms

 - Optional basement

 - Wheelchair accessible master bedroom, with roll-in tile shower, roll-under vanity

 - Large island kitchen with built-in desk

What does it cost to build a VA SAH custom home? Click on the Paige floor plan image or ask us here.

 

What are some other VA SAH floor plan requirements?

- The floor plan must be designed to be medically feasible for the veteran or servicemember to reside in the home.Specially Adapted Housing approved floor plans

- The floor plan must be adapted to the veteran or servicemember's needs.

Stanton Homes provides custom alterations and designs that adhere to these types of rigid federal regulations. And in-house design work is included, at not extra cost to our homebuyers. Read more about SAH requirements here.

 

 

Experienced Accessible Home Builders –

Stanton Homes is an industry leading accessible, universal, certified Aging in Place and VA-approved Specially Adapted Housing custom home builder.

Find out if you qualify for the "Stanton Homes® for Heroes" custom home discount for veterans and service members.

For more information on barrier-free living through the SAH Grant Program, contact us or your VA regional office in central North Carolina.

Whether you start with a plan that is designed for accessibility, ask us to modify or create a new plan, we can build in wider hallways and doorways, entry ways, turning radius, non-slip flooring, ramps and walkways, special lighting, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope door, faucet and drawers, accessible switches, no step entries, roll-in showers, ADA roll-under countertops and work spaces, and whatever else you need.

Learn how to build an accessible home floor plan here.

Tags: accessible homes, Specially Adapted Housing, SAH Floor Plans, Accessible Home Builders, VA Specially Adapted Housing

Most Popular Special Features - Efficiency, Easy Living Top the List

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 @ 10:01 AM

Most Popular New Home Special Features

Energy Efficiency and Accessible/Easy Living

According to The American Institute of Architects (AIA) second quarter 2011 report, here are the most popular home design special features:

Extra insulation in the atticFirst Floor Master

Alternative insulation

First floor master bedroom

Ramps/elevators

Easy to use features (universal design)

 

These can be divided into two main categories: energy efficiency and easy living.

 

NC Energy Efficient Homebuilders

1. Energy Efficiency

Extra insulation in the attic, alternative insulation

Energy efficient features have remained popular home additions from 2010 to 2011.

Some popular energy efficient features include:

 

2. Accessibility and Easy Living/Universal Design

Accessible New Homes

Features that promote accessibility and easy living have also remained popular home additions.

Some of the features architects are seeing requested more and more often are:

- First Floor Master Suites

- Elevators

- Ramps 

Pictured to the left is an accessible custom home with elevator.

Watch a video tour of the home pictured here - The Dugan.

 

 

Accessible Homes with Ramps

Examples of popular easy living special features include:

First floor master bedrooms

Ramps/elevators

Easy-to-use handles and faucets

Watch a video tour of the home pictured here - The Greenhaven.

 

For more information about trends in popular new home special features, read the full survey and article here: The American Institute of Architects's (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the second quarter of 2011

Read about energy efficient Green homes and easy living features in NC custom homes:

Most Popular Green Features - Top Requests

ADA and Wheelchair Accessible Homes

One Story Floor Plans

Universal Design Kitchen

Universal Design Laundry

Accessible Homes NC – Accessible Builders in Raleigh

Most Up-to-Date Raleigh Market Reports - How is the Housing Market in Raleigh?

Tags: nc custom home builders, accessible homes, nc custom home builder, aging in place, NC energy efficient homebuilders

Accessible Homes | Photos of Accessible Homes in Raleigh

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, Jan 05, 2012 @ 08:01 AM

Top 3 Most Requested Accessible Homes

Wheelchair Accessible Homes in Raleigh

Wheelchair accessible homes in Raleigh include special features from open space to wider hallways and doorways, entry ways, turning radius, non-slip flooring, ramps and walkways, special lighting, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope door, faucet and drawers, accessible switches, no step entries, roll-in showers, and ADA roll-under countertops and work spaces. 

Here are three most requested wheelchair accessible home plans for Raleigh custom homes:

1. The Dugan - Click here for photo gallery

This version of The Dugan first floor master suite home includes accessible and custom design features like:

 First Floor Master Suite Homes

- Entire 2nd Floor Mother in Law Suite

 - Fully Accessible Floor Plan with Elevator

 - Tucked in Front Porch, rear Screen Room

 - Customized Wide-Open Spaces, Oversized Garage, Attic Storage

 

2. The Greenhaven - Click here for photo gallery

Raleigh Accessible Homes

This version of The Greenhaven mother in law sutie home includes accessible and custom design features like:

- Full Mother-in-Law Suite with living room with living room

- Walk-up 3rd Floor Office

- Formal Dining with Wainscoating

- Full-Length Front Porch Front Porch

- Extra wide Signature Arches

- Side entry garage

 

3. The Devonsboro - Click here for photo gallery

Single Story Custom HomeThis version of The Devonsboro is a Frank Betz/Stanton Homes design: 

- Covered, arched entry and backyard deck

 - First Floor Office with French Doors

 - Master Bedroom with Stepped Trey Ceiling

 - 10’ Ceilings, Barrel Vaults, Archways

 - Great Room Coffered Ceiling

 

Experienced Accessible Home Builders –

Stanton Homes is an industry leading accessible, universal, certified Aging in Place and VA-approved Specially Adapted Housing custom home builder.

Whether you start with a plan that is designed for accessibility, ask us to modify or create a new plan, we can build in wider hallways and doorways, entry ways, turning radius, non-slip flooring, ramps and walkways, special lighting, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope door, faucet and drawers, accessible switches, no step entries, roll-in showers, ADA roll-under countertops and work spaces, and whatever else you need.  

 

 

Tags: accessible builders, nc custom home builders, accessible homes, accessible home design, accessible home requirements

Best Places for Military Retirees to Live | Raleigh New Home Discount

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Dec 05, 2011 @ 11:12 AM

Top 10 Best Places for Retired Military to Launch Second Careers

Raleigh in Top 10 Best Places for Retired Military to Live, named by USAA and Military.com

 

Are you a retired or active member of the US military looking for the best place in the nation to retire and start a second career?

According to a study commissioned by USAA and Military, the top 10 best places for retired military to live in the nation are:

  1. Oklahoma City, OK
  2. Norfolk, VA
  3. Richmond, VA
  4. Austin, TX
  5. San Antonio, TX
  6. Madison, WI
  7. Philadelphia, PA
  8. Raleigh, NC
  9. Omaha, NE
  10. Manchester, NH      

 

These cities were judged on a few main categories:

  1. Employment opportunities and sectors that align with military skills sets, such as defense, engineering, medical services and aviation.
  2. Overall jobs climate based on unemployment rate and number of small businesses.
  3. Proximity to a military base and a VA hospital or clinic, base amenities and state taxation on military pensions.
  4. General quality of life, such as affordability, housing costs, crime rate, sales taxes and climate.

Raleigh, NC a Best Place to Live for Military Veterans

Raleigh, NC is a nationally recognized hot spot for engineering and defense jobs.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Raleigh, NC is 8.4% (as of September, 2011), significantly below many metropolitan cities in the US.

The affordable living, low crime rates, and enjoyable climate also help Raleigh gain national "best place to live" awards each year.

 

Read a full account of this study, Military.com, and USAA here. Information courtesy of MarketWatch.com.

 

Read about the “Stanton Homes® for Heroes” program, one of the nation’s largest military and veteran programs offering new home discounts.



Find out more about custom homes with Accessible Features, Universal Design, and Specially Adapted Features:

How to Get Started Looking for an Accessible Home
Door and Hallway Requirements for Accessible Homes
Shower Design Ideas for Accessible Home Bathrooms
Choosing the Right Lot for Your Accessible Home
What is Universal Design, and how does it make living easier?
Laundry Rooms Designed for Easy Use
Top 10 Kitchen Tips - Universal Design
Entrances, Walkways, and Lighting - What To Ask For
Specially Adapted Housing Grants for Veterans

Tags: universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, accessible homes, accessible home design, military discounts, new home military discount

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jul 25, 2011 @ 14:07 PM

Home Builders for Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms

 Accessible Home Ideas for your new Raleigh Accessible Home

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms | Accessible Home Builders Raleigh

Stanton Homes is an industry leading accessible, universal, certified Aging in Place and VA-approved Specially Adapted Housing custom home builder.

Whether you start with a plan that is designed for accessibility, ask us to modify or create a new plan, we can build in wider hallways and doorways, entry ways, turning radius, non-slip flooring, ramps and walkways, special lighting, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope door, faucet and drawers, accessible switches, no step entries, roll-in showers, ADA roll-under countertops and work spaces, and whatever else you need. 

Here's examples of these accessible home requirements: 

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms with Wider Hallways and Doors, with Turning Radius:

Accessible baths should have room for maneuvering with a 5 Foot Minimum Diameter:

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms | Accessible Home Builders Raleigh

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms with Safety Features:

Non-slip flooring and special lighting. Natural light is an important consideration for aging in place and accessible baths: 

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms | Accessible Home Builders Raleigh

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms with Easy to Use 

Roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope door, faucet and drawers, and accessible switches are seemingly small details that can make a big difference in wheelchair accessibility of a bath:  

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms | Accessible Home Builders Raleigh

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms with no Step Entries, Roll-in Showers

This roll-in shower has a small ramp leading in: 

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms | Accessible Home Builders Raleigh

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms with ADA Roll-Under Counter Tops and Work Spaces

Knee Space Under Countertops and Reduced Height Countertops are key accessible bath features. This powder room has an accessible vanity with space for a wheelchair to roll underneath: 

Wheelchair Accessible Bathrooms | Accessible Home Builders Raleigh

 

 

Tags: universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, accessible homes, accessible home design, accessible home requirements, accessible shower, accessible baths

How to Build an Accessible Home | Accessible Driveway Requirements

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Mar 18, 2011 @ 08:03 AM

Raleigh Accessible Home Design | Driveway Design for Universal Homes

When building an accessible or universal design home, there are specific requirements and guidelines for how custom builders design the driveway, walkway, and entrances. Here are the basics you'll want to discuss with your custom home builder.

Universal design homes should offer driveways that are a little wider than normal, usually at least 12 feet wide, with an easy turn onto the property.  The end of the driveway should be flared to accommodate turning. 

This accessible home garage has a walkway that wraps the home, and ample turning space in the driveway:

How to Build an Accessible Home | Wheelchair Accessible Driveway Requirements

 

A universal design driveway needs to be formed from a smooth surface material such as concrete or asphalt, particularly in areas where passengers will be loading and unloading. 

Slope should be minimized where possible, with careful grading.  In regions where icy conditions are possible, it is recommended that the grade of the driveway not exceed 10 percent. In warmer regions, the recommended slope is 15 percent.

 

This Raleigh custom home has a wheelchair accessible driveway and zero threshold front door:

How to Build an Accessible Home | Wheelchair Accessible Driveway Requirements

If the driveway will be used regularly as a walkway to the home, the area should be graded to about 8 percent, with a maximum 1:12 slope to accommodate wheelchairs.  This is a slope typical for wheelchair ramps as well.

Your driveway should provide level access to your home if at all possible. The driveway should do the climbing – not you. If it is designed appropriately within the constraints of the site, you may be able to avoid steps and ramps.

If your home is on a hill, the place where you park should be at the same level as the foundation. If your home is on a slope, you’ll need a level plateau where you can climb out of your car with adjacent access to a walkway – and you’ll need 60 inches diameter in order to maneuver a wheelchair. 

Keep this in mind when choosing the lot for your new custom universal design home. A more level lot can help you save significantly on costs for grading, building retaining walls, and either removing or importing soil to create sufficient level ground.

All of these accommodations need to be considered before construction begins on your home. It may even be necessary to change the home’s design to offer an ideally designed driveway. 

For example, most homes have their garage or carport on the low side of a slope, which means there will be steps leading into the home.  This type of construction helps limit site costs, but if steps need to be eliminated, your builder may be able to move the driveway and entrances to the high side of a slope. This could keep steps from being required.  However, this may require additional costs for foundation and driveway, as the entire home may need to built a little higher.

You may also want to provide a carport or covered walkway to provide protection against the weather. This can be constructed at the same time as your home, or added later.

If a site is well planned, it may also be able to accommodate later changes to the driveway, such as widening or lengthening so that additional vehicles can park there.

Custom touches can also make life easier, such as reflective markers at the entrance and both sides of a steep or curved driveway, snowmelt tubing installed in the driveway surface in cold climates, or freaming of the area that leads into the home.

Check with your custom home builder for more ways to make your driveway a universal design.

How to Build an Accessible Home | Wheelchair Accessible Driveway Requirements

Experienced Accessible Home Builders –

Stanton Homes is an industry leading accessible, universal, certified Aging in Place and VA-approved Specially Adapted Housing custom home builder.

Whether you start with a plan that is designed for accessibility, ask us to modify or create a new plan, we can build in wider hallways and doorways, entry ways, turning radius, non-slip flooring, ramps and walkways, special lighting, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope door, faucet and drawers, accessible switches, no step entries, roll-in showers, ADA roll-under countertops and work spaces, and whatever else you need.  

Get help finding an accessible home floor plan in North Carolina, here.

Tags: How to build an accessible home, nc custom home builders, universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, accessible homes, accessible home design

Universal Design Home Tips: Fully Accessible Garage Designs

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Mar 09, 2011 @ 06:03 AM

Universal Design Garages - How to build an accessible garage in Raleigh NC

Universal garages are designed to accommodate special needs. These tips will help you understand what makes accessible home garages unique, with specific width and height requirements for North Carolina homes. Here are the basics:

 

Universal Design Garages | How To Build an Accessible Garage | NC Custom Home BuildersUniversal garages are usually either attached to the home with a direct (no step) entrance or connected to it with a sheltered breezeway at least 36 inches wide.

Building codes may require a step or curb between the house and garage floor to prevent fumes from entering the house.

  • If code requires floor to be several inches below entrance to house for fume protection, the entire floor can be sloped from front to back to eliminate need for ramp or step
  • Ramp to doorway can be provided if needed

If these codes do not apply, thresholds should not be higher than ¼ inch.

Single-bay garage doors need to be 8 feet high for a large SUV or pickup truck, higher for special vehicles such as a van with a chairlift—an extra 18" to 24" compared to most standard doors.

There should be an at least 5 feet wide aisle adjacent to the vehicle for easy access to the vehicle while inside the garage.

Lift-equipped vehicles may require an 8 foot aisle. (A two car garage accommodates this if only one vehicle is parked)

Steps require a railing on both sides 34 to 38 inches high that can support at least 250 pounds. A second, lower handrail 28 inches is helpful. Allow enough clear space near the steps to build a ramp later, in case it becomes necessary.

Consider including well-placed electrical outlets that eliminate or reduce extension cord usage. Outlets should be 18 inches above the floor to reduce the need for reaching and bending, and at workbench heighUniversal Design Garages | How To Build an Accessible Garage | NC Custom Home Builderst in that area.

Make getting into your home from the garage easier.  The door from garage into home should be extra wide.  We recommend choosing to include lever-style handles and secure, easy-to-maneuver locks.

Universal devices for the garage

Life is easier with the addition of a few small extras that light up your universal design garage without a lot of manual labor. Ask your builder which amenities would best suit your individual needs.

  • Automatic garage door opener
  • Electric sensor to prevent door from closing inappropriately
  • Easy-to-reach push-button keypad allows access without keys or opener
  • Button controlled automatic door openers can be installed on all doors (people as well as vehicle passageways)
  • Motion-detector lights
  • Lighted switches.
  • Motion-sensor downlight above garage door
  • Path lights to define edges of driveway

Universal Design Garage Cost

Building costs are dependent on current pricing of materials and labor. But there are some basic costs inherent to every universal design garage. Here’s how it breaks down, so you can ask your builder what the current pricing is for the kinds of materials you want used in the construction of your new garage. 

One of the biggest cost factors is, of course, the size of the garage.

Basic structure: Footings, foundation, framing, roofing, siding, doors, windows.

Electrical components: Duplex outlets, light fixtures, single pole switches, sensors, keypads, extrUniversal Design Garages | How To Build an Accessible Garage | NC Custom Home Buildersa lighting.

Siding materials such as: Brick veneer, stone veneer, Hardiboard siding, vinyl clapboard siding, vertical vinyl siding.

Roofing materials such as: asphalt shingles, standing seam metal, cedar shakes.

 

Experienced Accessible Home Builders –

Stanton Homes is an industry leading accessible, universal, certified Aging in Place and VA-approved Specially Adapted Housing custom home builder.

Whether you start with a plan that is designed for accessibility, ask us to modify or create a new plan, we can build in wider hallways and doorways, entry ways, turning radius, non-slip flooring, ramps and walkways, special lighting, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope door, faucet and drawers, accessible switches, no step entries, roll-in showers, ADA roll-under countertops and work spaces, and whatever else you need.  

Get help finding an accessible home floor plan in North Carolina, here.

 

Tags: Universal Design Garages, How To Build an Accessible Garage, nc custom home builders, universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, accessible homes, accessible home design

Choosing the Right Lot for your Universal Design or Accessible Home

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Feb 07, 2011 @ 06:02 AM

How to Choose the Right Lot for your New Home

Universal Design and Accessible Homes:  What to Look For

How to Choose a Lot for Universal Design Homes | Custom Accessible Home BuildersLooking for a lot for your new Universal Design home requires even more foresight than a traditional custom home. Here’s what to keep in mind to help ensure the special features that make your home easy to use don’t end up costing a lot more than you’re ready for.

No reputable builder can tell you the final cost for your new home until he knows where it’s being built, and what work on the lot will entail.

If you have a new home plan in mind, the lot needs to be able to fit it. If you have some flexibility in your final design decisions, you have more options – but it’s still important to know the overall cost of construction can be dramatically different when a lot isn’t compatible to a Universal Design home.

Here’s what you need to know:

Lot size:

Smaller lots usually require multi-story homes – which necessitate the use of a stairway or elevator.

Lot slope:

A flat or gentle slope is the best terrain for a universal design home.

Steep slopes are usually more suited to a split-level home or daylight basement home. Since an accessible home requires that a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen all be located on a single level, this could require a much broader footprint for one of the levels. Due to the nature of a split level home, each level would also require a separate stairway or elevator – the floor cannot be navigated with a single system. If you opt to move dirt in order to avoid a split-level home, find out how much that will cost before committing to the lot.

Site conditions:

Soil: Sandy soil is the best natural soil for construction. Heavier silts and softer clay may require additional work, especially if a septic system is required. The cost of additional fill may be even higher to complete accessibility requirements.

Water: Foundation footings and slabs need to sit above the water table (depth where water sits year-round.) If the site has a high water table, your builder will need to fill to raise the grade. This also could necessitate extra cost, in maintaining accessibility to at least one entrance.

Building Envelope: Set-back, side-yard requirements and no-building areas may mean the lot is not as big as it appears, in terms of usable space. This could mean that the one-story home you have in mind cannot be built on the lot you have in mind.

When your Universal Design builder inspects your lot, he will be able to show you what it will take to orient a home on the site.  Ask an experienced accessible home builder to inspect the lot before you buy.

How to Choose a Lot for Universal Design Homes | Custom Accessible Home BuildersIf you love the lot, be prepared for possible changes to your floor plan, including basics such as moving the parking area from the low side to the high side of the home.

In addition to the special needs inside the home, the lot also needs to accommodate a smooth transition into the home through level or step-less entrances.

Just as the property may need to have dirt moved in order to provide its Universal Design interior, exterior access may require bridges, ramps, berms, or sloped walkways.

If the home is built so that the ground slopes upward to it, grading can ease the incline with gently rising pathways. Your builder may also recommend that a berm be created alongside the home, in order to accommodate a paved ramp. 

Don’t forget to make sure you’re thinking beyond your Universal Design home, itself, when considering the usability of your lot!

It's not as hard as it sounds, with the help of an experienced accessible home builder.

*Universal Design (UD) (encompassing “aging in place,” “accessible living,” and “barrier-free living”) is an approach to building that makes everyday actions easier.

Universal Design meets the needs of the present and the future.

Consider universal design concepts for your next home - universal design is most cost efficient and effective when incorporated directly into your new home.

Read More Universal Design and Accessible Home Topics:

Accessible Home Builders | Universal Design Custom Home BuildersSpecially Adapted Housing for Veterans and Servicemembers - How to Get Started

How to Get Started Looking for an Accessible Home

Door and Hallway Requirements for Accessible Homes

What is Universal Design, and how does it make living easier?

Getting into a Universal Design home: Entrances, Walkways, and Lighting

Laundry Rooms Designed for Easy Use

Top 10 Kitchen Tips - Universal Design

One Story Floor Plans

Featured Homes - Virtual Tours

Tags: universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, accessible homes, nc custom home builder, accessible home design, New Accessible Homes, Wheelchair Accessible Home Builders

Getting into a Universal Design home: Entrances, Walkways, and Lighting

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Feb 02, 2011 @ 06:02 AM

Universal Design Home Builders | Accessible Home Design

Entrance, Walkways, and Lighting for Universal Design Homes

Getting in and out of your Universal Design home begins with its entrance, walkways and lighting. Here’s what you need to know – with tips on questions to ask an accessible home builder:

Universal Design Home Builders | Accessible Home Design

Entrance

  • At least one entrance that doesn’t require steps
    • Porch floor, stoop, or landing should be at the same level as the floor inside the home (see the photo above for an example of no-step entry homes)
  • Exterior door at least 35 inches wide
    • Eye-level peephole for adults, children, and wheelchair access
    • Lever or D-shaped door handle
    • Easy-to-reach, lighted doorbell or intercom
  • Flat threshold
  • No slip flooring
  • Large, simple typeface house numbers 60 inches off the floor
  • Overhead covering (roof extension, overhang or awning)
  • Chair, small table, bench or shelf by the door

Universal Design Home Builders | Accessible Home Design

Walkways

  • Textured
  • Nonslip
  • Level or gradually sloping
  • 36 inches to 66 inches wide
  • Concrete or other solid surface material
  • Ramps (see an example of a new home wheelchair ramp, below)
    • No more than one inch rise for each 12 inches in length
    • Five foot landing at top and wherever ramp changes direction
    • Handrails on both sides that can be gripped while sitting and standing

Universal Design Home Builders | Accessible Home Design

Lighting

  • Small, low-voltage lights that illuminate walkways, with extra lights as elevation changes
  • Covered light fixtures above eye level at entrance to minimize glare
  • Illuminate door handle, lockset and house numbers 

Ask your accessible home builder about these additional considerations:

  • Placement of the home that does not require ramps
  • Several fixtures such as scones or hanging lanterns
  • Recess lights in the underside of eaves or roof overhang
  • Perimeter area spotlights directed at walls, dark corners and garages
  • Motion or light sensor that switches on and off automatically
  • Door locks that are easy to operate, such as keyless locks with remote control, push-button or keypad
  • Intercom system—connected to phone or stand-alone
  • Passive or active solar heating (e.g., south facing windows)

Universal Design (UD) (encompassing “aging in place,” “accessible living,” and “barrier-free living”) is an approach to building that makes everyday actions easier.


Experienced Accessible Home Builders –

Stanton Homes is an industry leading accessible, universal, certified Aging in Place and VA-approved Specially Adapted Housing custom home builder.

Whether you start with a plan that is designed for accessibility, ask us to modify or create a new plan, we can build in wider hallways and doorways, entry ways, turning radius, non-slip flooring, ramps and walkways, special lighting, roll out or pull out shelving, easy grope door, faucet and drawers, accessible switches, no step entries, roll-in showers, ADA roll-under countertops and work spaces, and whatever else you need.  

Get help finding an accessible home floor plan in North Carolina, here.

Universal Design Home Builders | Accessible Home Design

(See photos of NC accessible homes - like this version of the Scottsdale, with wider hallways, doorways, and entrances.)

Tags: universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, accessible homes, nc custom home builder, accessible home design, New Accessible Homes, Wheelchair Accessible Home Builders