Universal Design: Convenient Accessibility

One obvious benefit of designing and building a custom home is the ability to incorporate convenience into your home from the start. Planning for future life needs and changes, and building in adaptability early on, are additional benefits worth consideration.

At Timber Ridge Craftsmen, we build a number of log and timber frame homes in the greater Smith Mountain Lake area with universal design in mind.

Simple Convenience

People are amazingly adaptable. Think of the two, three, or four (or more) frustration points that were built into your existing home and how you learned to live with those in time. Well, what if you could correct those types of flaws early on, before they are even built?

Eliminating frustration points is easy to achieve, especially when using realistic three-dimensional modelling software like Chief Architect, which we use. This software brings spaces to life for you to see and evaluate, well in advance of actual building.

Though convenience may ultimately be in the mind of the beholder, we find the following features to be universally appreciated:

  • Open floor plan (fewer interior walls dividing space, obstructing flow and outdoor views)
  • Minimum 3-foot wide doors, both exterior and interior
  • Minimum 4-foot wide hallways
  • Covered porches, decks, and entryways
  • One-level living (master suite, kitchen, laundry, and so forth)
  • Curbless (zero-entry threshold) master shower

Accessible & Universal Design

Universal accessibility may or may not be a pressing need for your building goals today, but the design methodology of “aging in place” calls you to consider your family’s future needs. A wide range of adaptive options are available for your home’s design — the comparative costs of which can be substantially lowered, or in some cases eliminated altogether, by simple choices made at the start.

Examples of accessible and universal design features include:

  • Windows you can open, close, and lock with one closed hand
  • Doors you can open and close with one hand, without grasping and twisting a knob
  • Base cabinetry door and drawer configurations which reduce the need to stoop down and reach inside
  • Cabinet door and drawer pulls you can use with one closed hand
  • Grab bars (or at least framed blocking for, within walls) for relevant bathroom areas
  • Taller lavatory countertops, perhaps with open knee-space underneath
  • Off-set controls in shower and tub areas
  • Faucet controls with a single lever to control water temperature and flow

In addition, when a home is designed as a raised ranch (over a walkout basement) or multi-story home, stairways can be configured to more-easily accept power chair and rail assemblies. The early-stage design could also be altered to stack closet or storage space vertically from floor to floor, with pre-planned floor framing to enable easier installation of a home elevator at a future time.

With so much effort and attention given to building new homes, shouldn’t homes be made easily-adaptable to your future needs?

Interested in designing a home that will suit your needs for years to come? Call 540-797-3059 or contact us to learn more about our universal design approach.

Build a home that suits your needs for years to come.

Learn more about our accessible home designs.

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