Monday, June 25, 2012

Universal Design

What is Universal Design?

Universal Design is the incorporation of structural and non-structural elements into a residence that are attractive and usable by all persons regardless of age, size and ability.  A home designed using these principles simplifies daily life for residents and guests as needs and physical abilities change.  Incorporating Universal Design features into a residence in the pre-construction stage adds little cost relative to the future cost of retrofitting a residence built with traditional design features.  Done well, Universal design becomes a virtually invisible element that benefits any person occupying or utilizing a residence.

Objective - Insure accessibility to the residence for any person including those with different physical abilities.

  • Provide an accessible route of travel from the public sidewalk or street to the primary entrance in the form of a graded path, ramp or driveway to graded path.
  • Provide at least one step free entrance into the home.
  • Provide a 60' x 60' (5' diameter) clearance at the primary entrance to the home

Objective - Improve overall circulation and allow people, furniture and appliances to move with ease in and out of the home.

  • Provide flush thresholds exterior maximum of 1/2 inch beveled, interior maximum 1/4 inch
  • Provide 42" wide hallways with 32" clearance doorways on an accessible route

Objective - Reduce bending, straining and twisting when turning on lights, faucets or when reaching for items on shelves.

  • Include variable height (28" - 42") work surfaces such as counter tops, sinks and/or cook tops in the kitchen
  • 50% of all storage within the home should be less than 54' high
  • Provide structural reinforcement within bathroom walls adjacent to toilet, shower and bathtub for future installation of grab bars
  • Full bathroom on an accessible route including a minimum 60' x 60' turning area, walk in shower and a clear space for use of the sink
  • Include adjustable (36" - 60") rods and shelves within closets
  • Install lever style door handles and faucet handles and rocker panel light switches throughout the home
  • Install electrical panel with top more than 54" above floor and include a minimum 30" x 48" clear floor space in front of panel
  • Install light switches 42" - 48" above the floor, electrical outlets 18" - 24" above the floor and thermostats no more than 48" above the floor.

Objective - Create easy recognition of the junction of floor surfaces and walls to reduce the likelihood of injury.

  • Include color contrasts between the following areas: floor surfaces and trims, stair treads and risers, and counter tops and front edges or cabinet faces
  • Provide smooth, slip resistant flooring.  if carpeted use low density (less than 1/2 inch high pile) with a firm pad

Objective - Allow residents and visitors complete access to home when changing needs or physical abilities occur.

  • Complete single floor living spaces.  Provide entry, kitchen, laundry area, full bath and flex room on primary level of home
  • Flex room should be usable as family room, nursery, playroom, home office or bedroom depending on the needs of the residents
  • Avoid steps between rooms or areas on the primary floor of the residence
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Friday, June 15, 2012

The Difference Between Stick Built and Panelization

To your local building department or your lender, there is no difference between a panelized home and a conventional on site stick built home.

To you the owner, the differences are tremendous.

Higher Quality - Your custom framing package will be factory built with all of the wall panels constructed from dry lumber on a gig so that every corner is 90 degrees.  This  results in a better product than can be built on the ground on the site.

Cost Savings - Typically your framing package will be 10 to 25% less on site framing depending on the location and design.

Pre-Engineered Home Plans - We offer 36 home plans that can be modified to meet your site, needs and local building department requirements.  Fully engineered these drawings are ready to submit for your permit to California standards and the all code corrections are done at no additional charge.  With the current 100% rebate on these plans this can be a savings of many thousands of dollars.


Custom Drafting and Engineering - If one of the Pre-Engineered plans does not meet your needs we can assist you will custom drafting and engineering.  Completing hundreds of construction documents each year we not only offer engineering solutions that can save money but also a very high quality product.  It is not unusual for our drawings to go through plan check without a single redline correction.  And documents that our prepared by us receive an additional discount built into the package pricing.

Guaranteed Pricing - Depending on the size of the deposit given pricing can be guaranteed up to six months from the time of the contract to the date of delivery.  This is unparalleled in an industry where price increases occur on a regular basis and bids are only good for 30 days.

Speed of Construction - This photograph was taken 48 hours after the delivery of the framing package.  The framing of a typical home is done in days rather than months.

Guaranteed Materials - You are guaranteed the materials required to assemble your framing package are delivered to your site.  Years of experience insures that all of the materials are shipped with the wall panels and roof trusses to insure assembly.  This saves multiple trips to the store to purchase additional materials.

Local Representation - From advice on land purchase and choosing of the design through the delivery and assembly of your framing package we are there to assist you.  Rain or shine.

For more information go to