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Wright Building Company
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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD A LUXURY HOUSE?

Most homeowners, in our experience, come into home building projects with a general understanding that luxury home construction and renovations will take a fair amount of time to complete. But just how long does it take to build a new home? Several factors come into play when preparing the timeline.

One of the contributing factors that will affect the schedule will be the number of members of the building team. Nearly every luxury home building job is different; however, the key players can include the builder, architect, structural engineer, landscape architect, and interior designer. Having a full building team in place can help certain jobs move more efficiently, as answers and insights into certain processes will be readily accessible. For complex building projects, such as waterfront property and unique structures, having an architect and engineer involved is usually required.

The typical timeline for building a new, 5,000-square-foot luxury home is between 10 and 12 months. This can vary depending on the complexity of the job and the types of materials used; however, this timing is fairly standard. New homebuilding projects can be broken out in the following phases:

Phase 1
The first steps will include pulling permits and preparing the site, which includes excavation as well as mobilization (setting up the staff trailer), foundation digging and pouring, well drilling, utilities, and site access. This phase typically takes between two to three months to complete.

Phase 2
The second phase, generally categorized as the enclosure, includes framing, siding, roof, windows, exterior doors, and siding. This phase typically takes between two and three months.

Phase 3
This is the rough in, mechanical phase that includes electric, plumbing, and HVAC. This will typically take about two months.

Phase 4
This is the finish stage. At this time, the builder’s subcontractors can start completing work such as drywall, glass, trim, floors, fixtures, and interior doors. This is when homeowners start getting excited, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This stage will take around four months.

Extensive renovations and additions can sometimes take as long as, or longer than, new home construction projects. We’ve completed several whole home renovations, and they often come with unexpected twists and turns. Once the walls are opened up, it’s not uncommon to discover elements of the structure, electrical, and/or plumbing that need to be fixed. Good builders will typically include timing in the schedule and budget for contingencies that provide the padding required.

As experienced homebuilders, we work extremely hard to keep projects on schedule. We understand that the process is long enough for homeowners. Watching our clients move into their new homes is one of the most satisfying parts of our job.
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WHY IT’S IMPORTANT FOR HOMEBUILDERS TO HAVE A CLEAN BUILDING SITE

Building a luxury home in Fairfield County, CT, requires a large quantity of materials. As a result, it’s easy for home construction job sites to become cluttered with scrap materials and debris. This is part of the job, but it’s also something that the contractor can control.

Every wall that gets framed, or sheet of drywall that gets hung, produces some level of debris. Large luxury homes are even more prone to clutter, as they simply require more materials and workers. Messy job sites, however, typically lead to unhappy clients and can cause workplace hazards. A good builder will always have a strategy for keeping the site clean.

Keeping the Client Happy
Whether it’s a custom home or a smaller renovation, clients want to see progress on a regular basis. As a result, they will often be on the property. When the site is clean and organized, clients are much happier. When it’s littered with construction debris and trash, they tend to question the builder’s professionalism, and that can affect the perception of the builder’s quality of work.

Every good builder has a plan. For example, trash should be discarded in the dumpster as soon as lunch is over. Although it can be difficult and unproductive to constantly be cleaning throughout the day, scraps around the site should be cleaned up a few times daily, with a more extensive cleanup before heading home. Tools, lumber, and building materials should be organized and placed to the side.

Safety
If the property is a mess, it’s only a matter of time before someone trips or steps on something sharp. That won’t happen if the floor is swept and the ground is raked. This doesn’t require a major effort. It just takes a couple of minutes, for example, to take a jumbled mess of boards and turn it into a tidier stack.

Workplace injuries are more common when workers have to step over hazards. With additions and renovations of existing homes, the homeowner is constantly on site. The risk of the homeowner walking in and getting injured just isn’t worth it. It’s much easier to keep things clean and organized than to handle a worker’s compensation claim or lawsuit.

Clean Job Sites Boost Productivity
A box of drywall screws can hide under a scrap of plywood for hours until someone finally finds it. The messier the site is, the easier it is for things to get lost. If the site is clean and organized, however, everything should be easy to find when needed.

Cleaning up should be part of every day’s work. If there’s something out of place at the beginning of the day, it should find a home. At the end of the day, every worker should pitch in to pick up and organize the site before heading home. Periodic cleanup breaks keep the mess from getting out of hand.
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HOW TO BUY LAND TO BUILD A LUXURY HOME ON

When it comes time to build a new home, the first steps will be to find a lot that fits your needs, and a reliable contractor to help you evaluate the land for home construction. Finding the right lot can be a bit of a challenge in Fairfield County, particularly lower Fairfield County where a high percentage of the properties have been built out.

Towns like New Canaan, Greenwich, and Fairfield are highly populated, making it harder to find level lots that are suitable for building. The few available lots in these towns tend to have landscape that can make it challenging to build on, such as wetlands, ledge, and heavy slopes. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, however. And more rural towns like Weston, Wilton, and New Canaan will provide better options. Following are tips on finding and buying land suitable for building a new house.

Late fall is a good time of year to visit land in person. With the leaves mostly gone, the contours, (and the neighbors) are more clearly visible. But even then, walking across the property only tells you part of the story. Many of the details are on paper.

A trip to the appropriate Fairfield County, CT assessor’s office is a good place to start. Even the most helpful sellers don’t always have the detailed information that you’ll need. Start by asking for a copy of the plat description that shows its boundaries. The assessor can also tell you whether the taxes are up to date and give you a tax history. Look for flood zone boundaries and whether or not the property sits on protected wetlands. Easement information shows whether you’ll need permission from a neighbor to access the property, and it can also determine how much frontage you need between the house and any roads. If you’re working with a home builder at this stage, they can help guide you through the process.

Check With Zoning and Planning Commissions
Local CT restrictions can determine exactly what your contractor can build and where it can be built. The local planning commission can provide information about zoning restrictions. If the property isn’t zoned for residential construction, you’ll need to apply for a zoning change or exception.

If the property sits in a historic area of Westport, Greenwich, or nearby, the preservation society can tell you whether there are any limitations on the building size, materials, and even architectural styles that are permitted.

The local health department has information about water and sewer regulations, and the utility companies can provide information about what’s available. Some vacant land may already have utilities on site, but most parcels typically require new service. This means running new electrical, water, and gas lines to the building site.

Think About Financing Options
Most lenders view vacant land differently from property with an existing home. As a result, the financial side of buying and building will vary. Most buyers purchase the land and have separate construction financing. The loans merge and convert into a more traditional home mortgage once construction is complete.

The issue with undeveloped property is the risk as viewed by the lender. They assume it’s easier for a buyer to walk away from land that’s not improved. As a result, the required down payments can be as high as 50 percent.

Local, Fairfield County lenders are a great place to look, because they have a better awareness of land and land use in the area. Be ready to give them a statement on how you intend to use the land and when you plan to start building.

New home construction is a very different process from buying a previously built house. The right home builder can help ensure a smooth and successful construction process. They can also help guide you from the first steps. Finding property in Fairfield County may be one of the most challenging steps. Once that’s settled, you can watch your dream plans come to life.
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ADDING PRIVACY AND SOUNDPROOFING WHEN BUILDING A NEW HOME, RENOVATION, OR ADDITION

If you live in Fairfield County, you know it can be difficult to find a building lot with significant privacy. On busier roads and on lots closer to town, noise can also be an issue. Towns such as Greenwich, Westport, and Darien are heavily populated and through the years the building lots have been divided, then divided again. Although we’ve built several homes on large, private lots, we’ve also built and renovated homes that have required us to take privacy and sound dampening into account in the building plan.

Whether you’re in the middle of a renovation or home building project, or in the planning process, the following are just a few ideas that might be worth considering when you’re looking to achieve privacy and reduce noise.

Fencing
Fencing can be built with architectural elements that will dress up what is otherwise a somewhat intrusive element for some properties. When built right, a fence can feel like an extension of the home. Wood fencing is, of course, the most popular; however, wood requires ongoing paint or stain as well as structural maintenance. Composite alternatives, such as PVC, are becoming more popular because they require virtually no maintenance.

Fairfield County residents are aware of the stone wall/wood fence combination. Adding a wooden fence on top of a stone wall can be an excellent way to achieve privacy and complement the natural New England charm of a property.

Plantings
Shrubs and trees are a good choice for privacy because town ordinances often do not restrict their height. They are also among the most natural barriers available. The right types of plantings will also provide cover year round. You’ll need to choose the right types so that you don’t lose cover in the colder months. Fast-growing evergreens are a good choice. Cypress and arborvitae can grow 4-6 feet per year and up to 20 feet high.

If you’re considering shrubs, the American boxwood can grow up to 10 feet high and evergreen shrubbery can provide good low cover that also dresses up a fence. Fences can also be dressed up with trailing vines or bamboo. Bamboo can grow up to 5 feet per year; however, it spreads quickly and requires significant upkeep as a result.

Some of Fairfield County’s finest homes are built along busy roads. When you’re building new or renovating, this is the perfect time to consider soundproofing.

Decoupling
In a typical stud wall, the Sheetrock on either side of the wall is attached to the same frame. When sound travels from one space to another, it channels sound waves into the Sheetrock on one side of the wall, then sends it through the stud and out through the drywall on the other side. Decoupling can disrupt the flow of sound by disrupting or dampening the path of sound waves as they travel.

There are several methods of decoupling. One is to build double studded walls. With this method you are essentially building two walls with a small space between them. However, this is typically a cost-prohibitive measure and can take up valuable space. The more reasonable method is with resilient clips. These are placed between the drywall and the studs to absorb sound.

Soundproof Drywall and Insulation
One of the best ways to achieve soundproofing is with sound dampening drywall. Typical drywall is light and rigid — which makes it vibrate sound waves. Adding multiple layers of traditional drywall can help. Sound dampening drywall is an available option that can reduce noise by as much as 40 percent.

Soundproofing insulation, placed inside the walls, is designed to absorb sound. Rockwool is a traditional material used in this application. Any good insulation job will require the material to be installed tight to the frame and snug around any plumbing or electrical elements.
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A CLOSER LOOK AT SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY

More and more homes are going digital these days as smart home technology continues to grow in popularity. Homeowners are finding that custom home construction and renovation projects are a great opportunity to incorporate technology that can improve energy efficiency, make the home safer, and make living simpler, easier, and more centralized. Here’s a closer look at smart home technology and the many ways it can be used.

Technically speaking, a smart home is a house with one or more functions connected to a central control hub, usually your smartphone or a small touchscreen appliance or tablet. This can range from one or two aftermarket technologies to an entire suite of equipment installed as part of a home renovation. With a single hub unit you can control a wide range of technologies including lighting, door locks, security systems, nanny cams, and appliances.

One of the most significant advancements in smart home technology is the ability for certain controls to “learn” various aspects of your routine. They do so by using sensors that change the feel of the interior based on your needs and tastes. For example, a smart thermostat can learn when you’re home and when you’re not. The unit automatically adjusts the temperature to a more energy-efficient setting when nobody is home. Smart shades can determine the angle of the sun and open themselves to let in more light in some rooms while closing themselves in others. In other words, your home knows you and reacts accordingly.

Most smart technologies are designed for retrofitting. Installing the equipment is always easiest during a renovation or custom home construction; however, installation in existing homes that are not being worked on should not require an excessive construction effort. For proper and safe installation, always use an experienced electrician.

One of the most popular, and relatively simple, smart home technologies is the learning thermostat, such as the popular Nest model. This is a good place to start if you are considering going smart. The Nest connects to your Wi-Fi and allows you to change the temperature of your home remotely. The Nest also provides external weather reports and can easily be wired to a home A/C system by a qualified contractor or homebuilder.

Smart outlets are also becoming more prevalent. They allow you to turn on any lamp or small appliance remotely, and will also monitor your home’s power load. If you have kids at home, you can enforce bedtime remotely by shutting down power to gaming systems, TVs, and other distractions.

Smart smoke detectors, such as the Nest Protect, are a noteworthy improvement to traditional models. Nest Protect is far more discerning and sensitive than a standard smoke detector; you won’t set it off with a misadventure in the kitchen. These smoke detectors also speak instead of beeping and can tell you exactly where in your home the alarm has been set off. Choose the wired version so you won’t have to swap out batteries.

The smart home is an ever-expanding frontier of new technologies and ideas. Smart technology doesn’t just make your home trendier; it makes it happier, healthier, and safer.

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WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE INSTALLING A CUSTOM POOL
Building a luxury home in rural Fairfield County, CT means summer weekends relaxing by the pool while the kids splash around. This is one of the reasons some residents of Greenwich, Westport, Darien, and surrounding towns choose not to live full time in Manhattan. Enjoying your home to its fullest means taking advantage of the outside spaces when the weather is nice. The kids will be the first to tell you that a pool is a must-have feature.

Besides being a great place to unwind, a well-built swimming pool will add value to your property. When it comes time to build, gunite is one of the most popular fabrication choices for custom pools, particularly in Fairfield County and the Northeast. Here’s what you need to know before taking the plunge.

Flexibility in Design
Due to the nature of the material and construction process, gunite gives you a level of design freedom that’s unmatched by any other type of fabrication. That’s because the process does not involve prefab fiberglass forms. Gunite, a mix of cement, sand, and water, is poured through a pressure hose into a custom-designed shell, allowing you to choose any shape and size that you desire.

The design process is typically done using a computer-aided drafting (CAD) program. So you can create an elegant symmetrical style or something that’s more freeform and organic. The process starts by excavating the space, then lining it with rebar. Once the shell is set, the special gunite concrete mix is sprayed, shaped, and finished.

Damage Resistance
Fiberglass and vinyl liner pools can break and tear. Because gunite is concrete, it’s durable. Of course there are some instances where the material can sustain cracks, but it’s not susceptible to damage from ordinary use, and it won’t break down over time. Another durability benefit is that you can scrub and clean the material without inadvertently poking a hole in a liner or wearing away a fiberglass finish. And if a tree branch or other sharp debris lands in the pool, the material will resist the impact.

With a gunite pool, you’ll never have to replace a liner or ultimately install a whole new form. When concrete requires repair, it’s done in place. And with the right reinforcements when the pool is built, the risks of damage are minimized.

Pool Surround Options Are Practically Limitless
The swimming pool is the star, but the pool deck and/or surrounding masonry and landscaping will help create a true outdoor retreat. When you work with your homebuilder to choose a custom surround, the possibilities are limitless. Flagstone and brick are beautiful choices for a natural, classic look. For a more organic environment, natural stone in a variety of shapes and sizes can line part of the edge to give the effect of having been carved away from a natural spring.

Potential Drawbacks
While gunite pools are considered a more valuable addition than other fabrication styles, the material is not without a few drawbacks. A typical fiberglass pool installation takes a couple of weeks from start to finish. Vinyl liner pools take a bit longer. With gunite, expect a few weeks to two months from the first day of excavation until the pool is ready for use. This is mainly because concrete requires time to cure after it’s applied.

In some situations, gunite can be rougher than vinyl or fiberglass. But that’s minimized when you’re working with an experienced builder. And if you like, tile can be applied over the concrete for a surface as smooth as glass. You may also need to apply a fresh finish coat periodically. This isn’t as comprehensive a job as replacing a liner, and it adds a fresh surface that makes the pool look new again.

Adding a swimming pool is a significant commitment of time and can be a disruption to the property. The entire process requires a variety of material and design choices to plan and discuss with your homebuilder. The end result, however, will be well worth it. The right custom pool will add substantial value to your home, and if built properly it should last a long time.


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PROCESS MAKES FOR A BETTER HOMEBUILDING EXPERIENCE
Building a custom or luxury home, or undergoing a renovation or an addition, is a significant undertaking that involves a wide variety of moving parts and people. As a result, large homebuilding jobs require planning and process to ensure that the end result is of the highest quality, and that the journey along the way is smooth.

In order to accomplish these goals, Wright Building Company employs a sophisticated process, and we apply it to every job we take on, large or small. It starts with communication. From the beginning, we ensure that our clients understand how the homebuilding process will work, from start to finish. We then communicate with them regularly throughout the job by providing comprehensive monthly reporting of job progress. We also maintain consistent and productive lines of communication with our architects, engineers, tradesmen, and designers. Furthermore, we communicate with the neighbors before, during, and after construction to ensure they are content.

Starting a job off on the right foot begins with ensuring the project is planned and estimated appropriately. Nobody likes surprises. When dealing with large construction projects, your builder must understand the full scope of the job, plan accurately for materials and labor, and develop a schedule that is accurate. At Wright Building Company, we lean on our experience. We’ve built some of the most complex homes in Fairfield County. As a result, we understand the steps required to estimate and schedule these types of jobs accurately.

For larger custom home and renovation jobs, we often run into challenging landscape and/or architectural requirements, particularly in towns such as Greenwich, Westport, Fairfield, and Darien. These towns often have difficult terrain that can include waterfront, ledge, and/or heavy sloping. In order to ensure the structural integrity of our homes, we may conduct land and site assessments for challenging conditions prior to design and construction. We may also conduct feasibility studies to determine how to best approach complex projects.

In order to keep a job on schedule and ensure the highest-quality workmanship, we require qualified subcontractors. Wright Building Company uses the most skilled and experienced tradesmen in the industry. Furthermore, our management process ensures that they are scheduled efficiently and that they understand the requirements of the job.

We’ve had the pleasure of receiving some very heartfelt appreciation for our efforts. We owe this success in part to the stringent and comprehensive processes that we employ.

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CONSIDERATIONS WHEN ADDING A SECOND LEVEL
Building a new home in Fairfield County or Westchester County starts with finding land. This can pose a challenge due to the lack of available vacant building lots. As a result, home building clients often find that tearing down, or adding to an existing structure, is a more feasible option. Although it can be rare in lower Fairfield County, sometimes the existing structure on the perfect lot is single level. This means adding a second story.

Another scenario that we’ve seen is the addition of a third level to a two-story home. Either project requires significant engineering, construction, and architectural consideration. The right homebuilder can guide you through the process to ensure the project is done right.

The first step should be for the contractor to bring in a structural engineer to ensure the foundation and first level are sufficient to support the additional weight of multiple new bedrooms and bathrooms. If you’re considering expanding the attic space to create the new level, this too requires structural investigation because finished living space will be carrying more weight than attic space.

The next thing for your builder to look into will be code requirements. Wilton’s regulations may be different from New Canaan’s, for example, so be prepared to have your contractor thoroughly investigate the limitations, if any, on square footage, footprint regulations, setbacks, etc. And standard code may dictate requirements for insulation R-value, staircase dimensions, etc.

When you’re adding a second level, there’s a good chance it will affect the functionality of the lower floor. You’ll need to add a staircase, which will require reworking an existing part of the downstairs to accommodate. Existing chimneys may need to be removed if they are running though planned living space. You may also need to figure out how to work an existing chimney into the new space above.

Dealing with exterior elements can often be a challenge. If the existing home is relatively old, it may be difficult to find matching windows and siding. In this case, you’ll need to choose a similar style, create a contrast with different materials, or start over. You’ll want to start working with your contractor early in the process to address these issues. A good contractor, with experience in remodeling and addition work, will provide suggestions and options to make the decisions easier.

When it comes to the exterior, you’ll also want to step back and look at the bigger picture to envision how the exterior lines will work with the new addition. This is where an architect can really help. The entire look of the home’s exterior will be affected by this change. When this happens, it’s typical to add features, such as a porch or front entry, to create symmetry in design. In addition, you’ll likely want to carry certain upgrades from the new addition to the existing exterior, such as more detailed trim, copper flashing, stone work, and shutters.

All told, there are numerous considerations when undertaking this type of project, and almost every trade will need to be involved, including electrical and pluming. The end result, however, can be very satisfying. By reworking an existing home, you’re able to take full advantage of a great piece of land. And in our experience, these types of projects always result in homes with an incredible amount of character.
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SHOULD YOU CONSIDER COMPOSITE MATERIALS FOR YOUR NEXT CUSTOM HOME OR RENOVATION PROJECT?

More and more home builders, architects, design professionals, and homeowners are considering the value of composite materials for a variety of homebuilding applications. For those interested in composites, now is a great time to build with them. Many product options are available, and the high quality of the materials makes it realistic to renovate or build a luxury home without compromising on aesthetics and durability.

What Are Composites?
Composites consist of materials made from two or more constituent materials that have significantly different or chemical characteristics. People have used composite materials since ancient times for construction applications. Today, composites have evolved to integrate a plastic polymer as the binder and fiber to provide the structure and strength. These composites have the technical names of fiber-reinforced plastics or fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP). The versatility of composite plastics has to do with the ability to engineer the product to provide specific performance characteristics. With an array of attractive features, such as durability, high strength, light weight, corrosion resistance, and low maintenance requirements, composite building materials are a suitable alternative for traditional wood.

Building Systems and Composite Materials
A few years ago, a study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders revealed that framing lumber, for an average 2,400-square-foot home, requires 14,000 board feet of wood — the standard measure of the usable wood contained in a tree. Other wood products used in the home—including plywood, hardboard, particleboard, glulam beams, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber and medium-density fiberboard (MDF)—take you beyond 14,000 board feet.

The following applications for composite materials are becoming more popular for large homebuilding, renovation, and addition projects.
• Structural Framing: Innovations in composite technology have led to the fabrication of composite structural framing, which contractors can integrate with traditional building materials and techniques. For example, structural framing components using fiberglass resin are more lightweight, durable, and sustainable than typical framing materials.
• Eco-Friendly Roofing Materials: Alternative roofing materials have seen major improvements and include recycled shingles fabricated from rubber tires as well as composite roofing materials that are difficult to tell apart from real wood and slate. Some of these products actually exceed the fire rating and impact resistance of the traditional materials that they mimic. Most composite roofing materials have a 50-year warranty and Energy Star certification.
• Alternative Siding: Composite siding consists of recycled materials such as wood, stone, concrete, or even old tires mixed together with special bonding agents and put into a mold where the material hardens under a heating or cooling process. The manufacturer applies a coat of weather-resistant laminate, which creates the finished look of traditional clapboard, brick, or other material.

• Composite Decking: Decking has become another popular choice for the use of composite materials. Fabricated through different processes and available in a variety of sizes, patterns, and strengths, composite decking can replace cedar or pressure-treated wood. It is resistant to moisture and will not split or warp. Depending on the specific material chosen, the material can also be used for steps, benches, and railings.

Manufacturing technology and advances in composite formulations offer a great opportunity to incorporate eco-friendly features and high-performance characteristics into your custom-designed home or renovation project. The advantages of composites over wood go beyond simply reducing carbon footprints and include:
• Each piece is identical in size, strength, and performance
• Often made with recycled materials
• Superior insulation qualities
• Fire-, termite-, and pest-resistant
• Resistant to mold growth
• Panels can be manufactured and assembled in large sizes
As the call for high-performance building solutions continues to grow, the unique properties of composites provide an attractive substitute for traditional wood materials, without giving up on aesthetics.

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UNDERSTANDING UNIVERSAL DESIGN WHEN BUILDING A CUSTOM HOME

If you’re building a custom home then you’ll be facing a variety of design questions. This is a good time to look at your living quarters with the future in mind. Keep in mind that the attributes and conveniences that you choose for your home today may not be ideal in the future. Utilizing principles of Universal Design (UD) will make your home functional and ensure that it remains livable as you progress through life.

When you set out to design your new space, consider your needs as well as those of your parents, grandparents, friends, and other visitors. Universally designed homes are not just for the elderly or permanently disabled. Here are some of the more common reasons to consider incorporating universal design concepts into your next home:
• The needs of young children
• The ability to stay in the home through your golden years
• Dexterity and/or mobility limitations or temporary or permanent disability
Look closely at the following spaces to get a better understanding of universal design and how it can work for you now, as well as in the future.

Flexible Exterior Space
Design an adaptable and flexible exterior space by taking into account the location of the front door, distance of parking from the home, and how you plan to enter the home on a regular basis. In today’s world, most people tend to enter from the garage.

A Kitchen for Everyone
For many families, the kitchen represents the heart of the home. With some forethought your kitchen can accommodate people of all ages and abilities ¬¬– from the little one making their first batch of cookies to elderly parents dealing with arthritis. The following ideas will make life easer for everyone.
• Pullout counter beneath a built-in wall oven will allow for the easy transfer of dishes.
• Swivel cabinet doors underneath the cooktop will fold out of the way, which provides knee space.
• An elevated dishwasher and raised front-loading washer and dryer will reduce the need to bend or stand and improve overall accessibility.
• Rollout shelves improve visibility and make it easier to see and reach items stored in lower cabinets.
Accessible and Functional Bathrooms
Many of the design principles of the kitchen also apply to bathrooms. Newer homes have a half-bath on the first floor. The principles of UD call for the setup of a full bath on the main level of your home. Following are some of the most important features of a universally designed bathroom:
• Doorway width – Make your doorways 36 inches wide to make it easier for people who use wheelchairs and other mobility equipment to gain entry into the bathroom.
• Adequate floor space – The bathroom should have a minimum of 5 feet of open space--an area wide enough to allow people in wheel chairs to make a 180-degree turn when necessary.
• Flooring materials – Choose slip-resistant flooring to ensure that all persons can move about the space safely, even on a wet floor. Tiles with wide grout lines provide good traction. Marble is very slippery when it gets wet.
Whether you plan to build a custom home, or you’re building an addition or extensive renovation, consult with an experienced homebuilder that has the knowledge and experience of building a range of home types.

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