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

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


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


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

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

Universal Design Ideas | Color Basics

Posted by Penn Hull on Tue, Sep 28, 2010 @ 06:09 AM

Universal Design Ideas - Color Basics

How To Choose Colors for a Universal Design Home

As part of the 50+ Housing Council in Raleigh, one of the things new home builders look forward to is sharing great Universal Design ideas.

Good use of color and contrast can make your home more livable and enjoyable.  Here's what to keep in mind.

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place | Custom Home BuildersUniversal Design Ideas - Choosing Colors

Color can set a mood, define the details of a room, and even affect mental health and appetites. 

One of the easiest ways to brighten a home is to add color to the walls or even the floors, countertops, and cabinets.

- for a peaceful bath, use color sparingly.

- Cool colors such as blue can add calm and serenity

- "Nature" colors like green or beige can work well with just about any color scheme

- Warm colors can energy you and help you wake up (yellow and orange) 

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place | Custom Home BuildersUniversal Design Ideas - Looking for Contrast

Contrast can help everyone "see" better.

- select wall colors that contrast with fixtures, countertops, and grab bars to make seeing those items easier

- items on the countertop can be easier to see when walls and countertops are distinctive colors

- chair rail trimwork in bright white can contrast with darker walls, drawing more attention to the outlines of a room.

- consider using colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel for additional contrast

Universal Design Ideas - Using Color in the Kitchen

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place | Custom Home BuildersUse of color in the kitchen can be especially helpful in a universal design home.  Consider doing some of the following:

- countertops, flooring, cabinets, and walls all in contrasting colors, to help users better see transitions.

- consider a contrasting color strip at the edge of the kitchen counter, such as a wood edge, to better define the countertop surface.

The smart use of color and contrast can not only make your new universal design home beautiful, it can also make it more livable and easy to use over a lifetime. 

Talk to an interior designer with universal design experience about more ideas for your new universal design home! 

You might also be interested in these related Raleigh Universal Design and Aging in Place articles:

Universal Design Homes | Aging in Place | Custom Home BuildersAccessible Homes - Design and Features

What is Universal Design?  Easy Living Homes

Specially Adapted Housing - Grants for Veterans

Building a Home with the VA's Specially Adapted Housing Program

Mother In Law Suite Homes - Floor Plans and Ideas

Virtual Tours - See This Week's Most Exceptional Homes

"Stanton Homes for Heroes" Military Discounts

Tags: accessible homes, universal design ideas, aging in place