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

What is a Universal Design Laundry Room? Trends for 50+ Housing

Posted by Penny Hull on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 07:08 AM

Universal Design for Your Laundry Room

Most Requested Laundry Room Features for 50+ Housing

As members of the 50+ Housing Council in Raleigh, one of the things we really look forward to is sharing universal design ideas from new home builders and interior design experts.

Laundry Room Universal Design Ideas

In today's market, where home owners are really focused on the areas of their homes where small changes can make a big difference, the importance of laundry room features is high on the list of "must haves."

 

Our most requested universal design ideas make laundry chores easier - through built-in convenience that costs a lot less when you plan ahead.

 

Location: Universal Design in the Laundry Room

Upstairs laundry rooms are increasingly popular, since that's where most clothes congregate.

But if the master suite is on the main floor, or you'd rather have the laundry room close to the kitchen, a more traditional first floor approach might work best for your lifestyle.

Size: Universal Design in the Laundry Room

A universal design laundry room should be large enough so that anyone can use it - including someone using a mobility device.

Universal Design Laundry Room | 50+ Housing Council | Raleigh New Homes

Even if you don't need that kind of accessibility now, if you plan to keep the house for a long period of time, having the capability allows for future needs - and increases flexibility for additional buyers if you decide to sell.

Plan to include 36" wide doorways and a 5 foot diameter open space in front of the washer and dryer where possible.

Floor plans can be adapted before a home is built, such as the plan to the right, where an additional 4" can be substituted for the traditional 2-8 drawn here.

If space is at a premium, a closet laundry can be tucked into a hallway as long as the hallway is wide enough (at least 4-0 but ideally a bit wider), and opened closet doors can allow access and maneuverability. But keep that laundry on the main floor for easy access.

Washer and Dryer Options - Universal Design in the Laundry Room

Front loading washers and dryers are today's biggest draw. Not only do they claim to clean better, but front loaders can also be loaded and unloaded more easily - even while seated. Be aware, however, that a standard front loading washer and dryer may still require excessive bending.

You may want to consider having your builder add a 12"-15" platform for the machines to sit on (like the one in this laundry room). 

Laundry Room Universal Design Ideas

Or you may consider purchasing a matching pedestal (like this Whirlpool set in red) to raise the equipment above the floor.  Almost every frontload washer and dryer has a platform option available.

Laundry Room Universal Design Ideas

Task Management - Universal Design in the Laundry Room

Many of today's laundry rooms are large enough to include a small countertop area. A popular option is to choose a 28 to 30" high countertop, designed for sitting while folding, in lieu of the standard height countertop that requires standing.

Laundry Room Universal Design Ideas

The countertop can be multiple heights (like the one pictured above), with a lower seating area, or the entire countertop can be dropped with a combination of specially designed base cabinets and knee space areas. Make sure those seating areas are at least 36" wide, though, for full accessibility.

Lighting - Universal Design in the Laundry Room

Laundry rooms tend to be windowless, so think carefully about the amount of light you'll need.

Laundry Room Universal Design Ideas

Consider motion detector lighting, for convenience when your arms are full, so the lights operate automatically when you come and go.

In a room with workstations, think about adding under-cabinet lighting or other supplemental lighting.  Flexible track lighting looks contemporary and can be a nice accent, particularly in a multiple use room.

Flooring - Universal Design in the Laundry Room

Laundry Room Universal Design Ideas

 

Choose a flooring that's easy to clean, and water resistant.

One of the latest trends is to incorporate Cork flooring, which is comfortable to stand on when ironing, and naturally water resistant.

Cork flooring can be considerably more expensive than most standard types of flooring, but it may be more affordable than you think since the room is typically one of the smallest in the home.

When you begin to plan your new home, talk to a new home builder experienced with universal design, who is flexible enough to meet your goals.

 

 

Universal Design Homes

Read more about universal design homes and commonly requested kitchen and laundry design features.

Stanton Homes builds new custom homes with universal design features throughout central North Carolina. Ask us what we can custom design/build for you.


Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC

Read More Related Topics:

What is Universal Design? Easy Living Homes

Accessible Homes - Design and Features

What is Specially Adapted Housing? Grants for Veterans

Building a Specially Adapted Home

Photo Galleries - See This Week's Raleigh New Homes

Tags: universal design, universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, 2014 new home design, Universal Design Laundry Room

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.


Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC Universal Design Builders | Custom Universal Design Homes | Universal New Homes Raleigh NC

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

What's in a Universal Design Home? Kitchen and Bath Features

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 @ 11:03 AM

Universal Design Home Features

What's in a Universal Design Home?

A Universal Design home is focused on ease of use and flexibility - for homeowners of any age, status, and ability - for safety and comfort in a home that does not sacrifice visual appeal.

Universal Design features can be described in the two most used rooms of the home: the kitchen and bathroom.

Universal Design KitchensWhat's in a Universal Design Home | Kitchen Univeral Design Features

Universal Design kitchens can include features like:

 - Induction cooktops - there are no open flames, and the cooktop temperature generally remains neutral.

The custom home pictured here - the Linda - features an induction cooktop.

 

What's in a Universal Design Home | Kitchen Universal Design Features

 

 - Empty space under countertops, sink, or cooking areas - allows for seated (or wheelchair) access.

 - Lower countertops and sinks - allows for seated (or wheelchair) access.

 - Adjustable-height countertops - allows more flexibility for various kitchen users.

What's in a Universal Design Home? Kitchen Universal Design Features

 

 - Roll-out shelves or drawers - allows visibility and easy reach.

 - Pull-out counter underneath a built-in wall oven - allows easier transfer of hot items from the oven. 

 - "Hands-free" or touch faucets - allows for easier use of faucet.

 

 

Universal Design Bathrooms

Universal Design bathrooms can include features like:

What's in a Universal Design Home | Easy Access Tub

 

 - Tub ledge or seating area - easier movement into and out of the tub.

Pictured here is a custom home - the Dugan - with universal design bathroom features such as a wide tub seating area and separate roll in shower.

 

 - Textured flooring - preventing against slips on slick, wet surfaces. The Dugan includes textured tile flooring.

 - Night lighting - to help safely navigate a dark room.

  

 

 

What's a Universal Design Home?

 - Grab bars - manufacturers now offer coordinating grab bars, faucets and shower fixtures. 

Pictured here is a custom home - the Terrell - with universal design bathroom features.

This bathroom contains matching towel rack and grab bar. While these bars are a simple brushed nickel design, manufacturers offer many "loud" choices as well.

 

What's in a Universal Design Home? Shower Benches

 

 - "Zero-threshold" shower bases - the shower entrance is flush with the bathroom floor, allowing for wheelchairs and generally easier access.

 - Removable bench - can be used in the tub or shower.

 - Contrasting color design - to help distinguish where surfaces change.

 

 

What's in a Universal Design Home? | Universal Design Bathrooms

 

 - Hand-held/maneuverable faucets - to make bathing, or helping someone else bathe, easier.

The Terrell master bathroom - pictured to the right - features secondary shower and tub hand-held faucets, in addition to the static faucets.

 

What's the Difference Between Universal Design Homes and Accessible Homes? 

Universal Design homes are intended for easier living, no matter what physical condition, age, or ability. Accessible homes must meet higher, more specific standards (especially when government funding is utilized to build the home).

For example, for a home to be accessible, not just universal, the turning radius in the bathroom must be 5 feet in diameter.

Universal Design meets your needs now and later

Each universal design home is different.   Not every feature is included in every home - you'll choose what's most important to you and your lifestyle.


The best time to add universal design to your home is in the planning stage, before the building process begins. Ask us how!



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Tags: universal design, universal design homes, universal design ideas, 50+ Floor Plans

Universal Design: What Features to Consider in Your New Home

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Apr 11, 2011 @ 11:04 AM

Universal Design Options to Consider

Top 4 Areas You'll Want to Tackle with Universal Design Concepts

The most popular features in a universal home focus on ease-of-use. When you talk with your builder about special adaptations to make your home work with you for years to come, consider the difference it would make to have these kinds of universal design adjustments:

 

Universal Design Elevator

Ease of movement throughout the home

  • No steps (possible ramps or elevators)
  • Smooth surface flooring, non-slip tile or dense-weave carpet
  • Wide hallways and doorways
  • Open floor plan

 

Universal Design Kitchen

 

A kitchen anybody can cook in:

    • Lowered countertops and cabinets
    • Appliance accessibility
    • Open knee space under sinks and counters
    • Full extension drawers
    • Shallow sink with side-mounted faucet

 


Universal Design Shower

Special touches in the Master suite:

  • First floor location
  • Adjustable hanging rods and shelves in closets
  • Bathroom with integrated grab bars
  • Curbless shower with transfer bench
  • Slide-bar showerhead and/or multiple-height showerhead

Other universal options throughout the home:

  • Lever handles on all doors and faucets
  • Sliding casement windows
  • Light switches 36 inches or lower from the floor
  • Electrical outlets 25 inches or more above the floor

Universal Design Closet

 

These kinds of features help your home adjust to changing needs over the years as your family grows, you care for elderly relatives, and you even grow older, yourself.

The more you consider as your new home is built, the less you will need to remodel later – and the more you will enjoy your home for years to come.

 

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: universal design, universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, accessible home design, universal design ideas

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