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!



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, universal design ideas, 50+ Floor Plans

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

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 09, 2012 @ 10:01 AM

Universal Design Home Kitchen and Bath 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 abiltiy - for safety and comfort in a home that does not sacrifice visual appeal.

Universal Design Stove

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

 

Universal Design Kitchens

Universal Design kitchens can include features like:

  • Induction cooktops - there are no open flames to worry about.
  • Universal Design Pull Out ShelvesEmpty space under (or lower placement of) countertops, sink, or cooking areas - allows for seated (or wheelchair) access.
  • Adjustable-height countertops - provides more flexibility for various kitchen users.
  • 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. 
  • Hands-free, single lever, or pull-out spray faucets - each gives more flexibility to the user with little arm strength.
  • Pulls (rather than knobs) on cabinets

 

Roll-In Shower

Universal Design Bathrooms

Universal Design bathrooms can include features like:

  • "Zero-threshold" shower bases - the shower entrance is flush with the bathroom floor, allowing for wheelchairs and generally easier access.
  • Textured flooring - preventing against slips on slick, wet surfaces
  • Grab bars - manufacturers now offer coordinating grab bars, faucets and shower fixtures.
  • Tub ledge or seating area - easier movement into and out of the tub.

Universal Design Shower Bench

  • Removable flip-up bench - can be used in the tub or shower.
  • Night lighting - to help safely navigate a dark room.
  • Contrasting color design - to help distinguish where surfaces change.

 

 

Read More about Universal Design Homebuilders in North Carolina:

 

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

 

Laundry Room Universal Design Ideas | 50+ Housing Council in Raleigh

Universal Design Color Basics | Raleigh Universal Design Homes

Is Universal Design Right for You?

Easy to Use Driveways | Accessible Home Tips

 

Tags: universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, new home trends, universal design ideas

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

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

Is Universal Design Right For You? Questions to Ask

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, Mar 24, 2011 @ 06:03 AM

Considering a Universal Design New Home

Questions to Ask about Universal Design

As families adapt their lifestyle to include children, the elderly or people inconvenienced by a temporary or permanent disability, incorporating universal design into their new home floor plan makes life easier for everyone.

Universal design homes are planned with future needs in mind – so that no matter what kind of disability may afflict the homeowners or their households, your home will “plan ahead” to accommodate it.

When you sit down with your builder to talk about a universal design custom home, the answers to these kinds of questions can help you create the kind of floor plan that will meet all your needs:

  • Will someone need to sit while preparing meals or at the bathroom vanity?
  • Do you have children who will need to be able to help in the kitchen?
  • Will getting in and out of the tub or shower be a problem?
  • Is everyone able to turn a doorknob?
  • Do you need to be able to maneuver a wheelchair?
  • Can every adult reach – and see – the thermostat?
  • Will you need to be able to vary the height of special lighting?
  • Do you plan to live in the home as your family needs change?
  • Is it possible that an elderly relative might move in with you?
  • Is this the home you’d like to retire in?

Answers to these types of questions can help determine the kinds of adaptations you’ll want to discuss with your builder, as you consider the advantages of a universal design.

More Tips and Ideas - Universal Design and Accessible Homes

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: Raleigh accessible home, universal design homes, Universal Design Home Builders, New Accessible Homes, Wheelchair Accessible Home Builders, universal design ideas

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.

 

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