Universal Design Home

We worked with a Skaneateles, NY couple to build their lakefront dream home that has many special Universal Design features. These features are so subtle that you may not recognize them, but would admire the home for its smart, efficient and practical design. The transitional design of the home is perfect for the owners and very accommodating when they get together with friends and family. This home was featured in our Projects of the Month.

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  • The architecture and design of this home blends well with its lakefront setting. The entry has a level threshold. Pathways from the driveway to the lake provide accessibility for a person who uses a wheelchair. The exterior of the home features fiber cement siding, custom trims and architectural shingles.
    The architecture and design of this home blends well with its lakefront setting. The entry has a level threshold. Pathways from the driveway to the lake provide accessibility for a person who uses a wheelchair. The exterior of the home features fiber cement siding, custom trims and architectural shingles.
  • The back of the home faces Skaneateles Lake and has a raised deck constructed with DuraLife decking and glass panels to optimize the view. Building code requires that deck rails be at eye level when a person is seated. Since solid rails would obstruct the view for a person seated in a wheelchair, a special impact resistant safety glass railing was used with the glass panels. There is a lower level exit from the home to a pathway that leads to the dock. Windows and glass doors were strategically installed to provide a view of the lake from the interior.
    The back of the home faces Skaneateles Lake and has a raised deck constructed with DuraLife decking and glass panels to optimize the view. Building code requires that deck rails be at eye level when a person is seated. Since solid rails would obstruct the view for a person seated in a wheelchair, a special impact resistant safety glass railing was used with the glass panels. There is a lower level exit from the home to a pathway that leads to the dock. Windows and glass doors were strategically installed to provide a view of the lake from the interior.
  • An elevator provides access to the second story and lower level of the home. This elevator was designed to blend with the interior has wood paneled sides and a luxury vinyl stone-look floor. There is a phone in the elevator that allows the user to call for assistance if needed.
    An elevator provides access to the second story and lower level of the home. This elevator was designed to blend with the interior has wood paneled sides and a luxury vinyl stone-look floor. There is a phone in the elevator that allows the user to call for assistance if needed.
  • One of the many architectural accents in the home is a staircase with custom cherry rails and spindles.
    One of the many architectural accents in the home is a staircase with custom cherry rails and spindles.
  • View of the kitchen. The variation of counter height is intentional and subtle. Toe kicks provide barrier-free access to storage drawers and cabinets. The island is the primary work area in the kitchen. It contains the cooktop, a prep sink, pullout drawers for storage of cookware and utensils and an ample counter for food prep and informal dining.
    View of the kitchen. The variation of counter height is intentional and subtle. Toe kicks provide barrier-free access to storage drawers and cabinets. The island is the primary work area in the kitchen. It contains the cooktop, a prep sink, pullout drawers for storage of cookware and utensils and an ample counter for food prep and informal dining.
  • Note the recessed base cabinet, placement of the cooktop and front access controls. Toe kicks at the base of cabinets have two advantages. First, they allow you to work closer to a counter, sink or stovetop. Second, they help you to maintain your balance in a kitchen or bathroom when used for a vanity.
    Note the recessed base cabinet, placement of the cooktop and front access controls. Toe kicks at the base of cabinets have two advantages. First, they allow you to work closer to a counter, sink or stovetop. Second, they help you to maintain your balance in a kitchen or bathroom when used for a vanity.
  • A comfortable master bath with amenities for two.
    A comfortable master bath with amenities for two.
  • A doorless shower with accommodations and a custom base and wall tile.
    A doorless shower with accommodations and a custom base and wall tile.
  • This smartly designed bath features an accessible custom-fabricated shower stall built on site with a hinged shower seat and grab bars.
    This smartly designed bath features an accessible custom-fabricated shower stall built on site with a hinged shower seat and grab bars.
  • A half bath can be a “jewel box” in a home and is often used by guests. This half bath will accommodate people who may use a wheelchair or walker. There is a turning radius factored into the space and an accessible toilet and stylish pedestal sink. A porthole window and a transom window bring light into the room in addition to the stylish downlight fixture.
    A half bath can be a “jewel box” in a home and is often used by guests. This half bath will accommodate people who may use a wheelchair or walker. There is a turning radius factored into the space and an accessible toilet and stylish pedestal sink. A porthole window and a transom window bring light into the room in addition to the stylish downlight fixture.
  • Access to the dock and landscaped lakefront.
    Access to the dock and landscaped lakefront.
  • View from the dining area and kitchen.
    View from the dining area and kitchen.

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