The Retreat on Stony Creek has unique topography and wooded sites along the Natural Conservation Easement. Through all stages of planning our goal has been to enhance the neighborhood and bring the inherent beauty of nature into your home.
Universal Design: Stylish, Safe, Sustainable
“Old age is like everything else,” said Fred Astaire. “To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.” The same principle applies to your custom-built Stony Creek home. It should be comfortable and sustainable for a lifetime of enjoyment. Whether through accident, illness or the natural stages of aging, there comes a time when we will all need special accommodations to make our homes safe and functional. Plan for those accommodations now with the help of universal design techniques, and your time at Stony Creek need never be interrupted by messy remodeling projects or unattractive “make-do” additions.
Simply put, universal home design is design that works for every person regardless of ability. In a home built with universal use in mind, people with limited mobility, impaired vision, arthritis and other physical challenges would be able to maintain their independence as safely as the average active adult. Our experienced designers and contractors can help guide you through some of the helpful features of universal design. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of tips from top innovators in the field of universal design, including designers Drue Lawlor and Michael Thomas, authors of Residential Design for Aging in Place:
1. Limit Stairs
Climbing stairs becomes more difficult as we age, but when wheelchairs or walkers become a necessity of life, a flight of stairs may as well be a mountain. Stairs can also prevent a direct line of site from the front door to the street. Being able to see visitors approaching as well as street activity adds to a sense of safety in the home. The ease of one-floor living has made Ranch homes a popular floor plan in the Stony Creek community.
2. Automated Lighting
Once upon a time, turning a lamp off and on by clapping was considered high-tech. Today, technology like the AuroRa system from Lutron allows you to control all the lights in the house from a wireless remote or master control. Automated control allows you to easily illuminate your home’s entries or individual rooms for safety whether you’re up for a midnight snack or returning after an evening out. Some systems can also be connected to the home security system, prompting lights to come on if an alarm is sounded.
3. Maximize Natural Lighting
Natural beauty is one of the most valuable things we offer at Retreat on Stony Creek. Your custom home should allow for maximum enjoyment of that commodity regardless of mobility issues. Large windows, French doors, skylights and Solatube day-lighting systems will bring natural light pouring into your home and provide places to enjoy the beautiful views. Plenty of natural lighting is especially important for anyone who is unable to get outdoors easily.
4. A Better Bathroom
Not being able to shower and take care of personal hygiene safely is a big concern for the active adult who plans on aging-in-place. A few modifications to your custom bathroom could make a world of difference. Consider these universal design options for your Stony Creek home:
A curbless or step-in shower allows people of all abilities to safely enter and exit. Proper drainage is a concern with a step-in shower, but can be addressed by building a gradual recess, raising the rest of the bathroom floor or installing a flange that can be lifted to serve as a curb after entering the shower. Our professional designer can help decide which option is best for your custom home.
Multiple shower heads add flexibility to bathing. Consider adding a center rain shower, a hand-held shower wand and a traditional shower head in the same stall so that people of varying mobility can enjoy the same shower.
A fold-down teak seat mounted in the shower stall provides safety and style.
Small details can make all the difference when it comes to remaining independent. Recessed shelving inside the shower makes bath products easy to find and put away. Large hooks for towels and robes ensures important items are kept handy. Adequate storage means clutter and cords can be put away, leaving floors and surfaces free of hazards.
5. The Closed-Fist Test
Wheelchairs and walkers aren’t the only things that limit mobility. Arthritis and other diseases of the joints can greatly diminish the ability to grip and turn everyday objects such as door knobs and faucet handles. Off-set and motion-sensor units such as Kohler’s Tripoint Touchless Electronic faucet are small touches that can make a big difference.
6. Slip-Resistant Flooring
When selecting slip-resistant flooring, carpet is an obvious choice, but even people who love the warmth and convenience of carpeting agree it’s not appropriate for every room. Choosing smaller tiles with less surface room between grout lines or natural cork floors is a smart and stylish option.
7. Full Access
Some universal design elements are not only functional, they help make your custom home look more spacious and welcoming. Hallways, doorways and kitchen pass-throughs should be 42- to 48-inches wide to accommodate a wheelchair. And lowering at least some of the cabinets to rest directly on the counter adds accessibility as well as style in the kitchen. Bending to reach items in low cabinets can be eliminated by adding pull out shelves like those in the SuperCabinet from Diamond Cabinets.
8. High-Tech Solutions
Controlling everything from the temperature to the lights to the television in your custom-built Stony Creek home is easy with HAL®, the Home Automated Living system. Adjust and maintain almost all your home’s systems from your phone or laptop, or even use voice commands, and ask HAL to raise the thermostat so your home will be cozy and warm on your arrival. Learn more at the Home Automated Living website.
Home Automation Features.
Imagine the possibility of monitoring and controlling all various devices in your home by using the sound of your voice, the web or a variety of other interfaces. With Home Automated Living’s HAL® system, you can!
HAL allows you to use a web browser to log on to your home and control lights, appliances, audio, video, security or thermostat settings all from one app. You can even do it by voice! Ask HAL to tell you the latest stock quotes, weather reports, sports scores or other important news items. On the way home? Just pick up your phone and call HAL to raise the thermostat, turn on the lights, close the curtains or recite your shopping list.
With HAL you’ll have one remote control for your entire home to manage and control all your electrical devices in it. Want to know more? Just browse the Home Automated Living website.