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Aging in Place New Homes | Universal Design Homes in North Carolina

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

Aging in Place Homes

New Universal Design Homes in North Carolina

Aging in Place New Homes | Universal Design Homes in North Carolina


Designing a floor plan for "aging in place" can mean adding beautiful features that blend right in - while adding value and comfort to your new home.

Here’s what Stanton Homes’ award winning custom home builder Stan Williams has to say about the importance of design in universal, aging-in-place and accessible homes:

Aging in Place Question #1: What are the top requests you get from homebuyers who want to plan ahead for aging in place in their homes?

Aging in Place New Homes | Universal Design Homes in North Carolina

 Most homebuyers who are thinking ahead want convenience that looks like it is an integral part of a design, without standing out as something for "old people."

They ask for things they will need “in the future” such as lever-knobs, grab bars, elevated wall ovens and dishwashers that are easier to reach into, as few steps as possible into the home, and the ability to go out on the porch without having to step down. All of these things can be accomplished without any abrupt changes to the home's flow, as long as they are designed by an expert to blend in.


Aging in Place Question #2: What are the biggest challenges for homeowners who want to continue aging in place?

Aging in Place New Homes | Universal Design Homes in North Carolina

Everything that is included for aging-in-place should be designed so that it looks like it “fits” into a home, without being forced.

It all needs to flow together with a well-thought-out theme of easy-usage that isn’t obvious.

Even though homebuyers looking for universal features aknowledge that certain elements will make their lives more comfortable, they don't want anything that gives the impression they're unable to accomplish daily tasks without aid.

If features look institutional or commercial, they can detract from the comfort of the home and limit resell capabilities.

Check with your homebuilder or decorator when choosing elements for aging in place, so that everything is in place before it's needed - and there isn't a need to remodel later. If it's already a part of the home decor, it won't seem like such a shift when these items are needed.



Aging in Place Question #3: Do you have advice/tips for homeowners regarding the latest design trends or products as they relate to aging in place? 

Design your home for age in place with an eye toward colors and textures as well as specific products.

Choose flooring that is a different color than the walls, such as white walls with dark floors, so that people with poor eyesight can see where they are more easily.Aging in Place New Homes | Universal Design Homes in North Carolina

Incorporate age in place aspects such as door handles that help create a beautiful décor as well as practical capabilities. The less obvious the age in place elements are, the more acceptable they will be to the people who need them, and the more they will appeal to everyone else who uses them, as well.

Don’t just design age in place for those who need it, but incorporate everyone who will use them, so that there is truly universal appeal in your universal design.

Universal Design new homes in North Carolina:

See photos and virtual tours of custom homes that include aging in place and universal design features. Click on the butons below, or contact us here.

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Tags: universal design, universal design homes, Homes Designed for Aging in Place, Aging in Place New Homes

Universal Design: Accessible Homes that Don't Compromise Great Looks

Posted by Penn Hull on Mon, Nov 01, 2010 @ 06:11 AM

What is Universal Design?

Universal design is all about making it easier to function in a specific area for people who are older or disabled – without foregoing normalcy, in ways that everyone can find appealing.

It’s about use of space, easy-to-operate appliances, and a look and feel that makes people comfortable. Accessibility, as well as attractiveness.

Here’s how top custom homebuilders make universal design work for you:

1.    Incorporating universal design elements into a floor plan so that the overall effect is seamless. A bedroom suite on the main floor, wider doorways and other structural allowances can be designed to add value to the home, giving it an open-space feeling that is appealing to everyone.

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place Homes

(Downstairs guest bathroom with lots of natural light, a universal design feature.)


2.    Bathrooms and kitchens are designed to accommodate everyone, with ergonomic designs that are intended to reduce stress, emphasize safety and help people overcome limitations. This can include adjustments to appliances such as moving handles and knobs to the forefront where they can be used more easily, and use cupboard latches that are easily triggered.

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place Homes

(Microwave located in the lower cabinets, with front controls for easy-use.)

3.  Glare-free lighting can be installed throughout the home, in ceiling fixtures as well as work areas that require additional illumination to ensure everyone can see clearly. Areas with controls or instructions are often fitted with extra lights, as well, so that operations are clearly visible.

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place Homes

(Under cabinet lighting helps illuminate work areas in this wheelchair accessible kitchen.)

4.  Appliances can be fitted with conversion systems that provide additional automatic functions.  Convection ovens, front-load washers and dryers, and other every-day household equipment is structured so that settings can be predetermined, and the systems can be operated with a single touch.

5.  Homes are designed for aging-in-place, with features that prepare for eventual restructuring, such as floor layouts that have closets stacked over each other, which can later be taken out and replaced with an elevator.

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place Homes

(Universal Design home with an elevator leading to the second story)

Today’s universal design is seen more as a way to retain value in a home throughout a lifetime. It’s functional, practical, and artistic – and it’s one of the most popular approaches for new homes where buyers intend to live long-term.


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: nc custom home builders, universal design, universal design homes, accessible homes, aging in place, Homes Designed for Aging in Place, Accessible Home Builders