SHELTER Magazine

Only Online - Shelter June 2007

More of ... Special Report: Aging In Place

Modular Home Manufacturer Designs Universal Home Concept
R-Anell Homes, a modular home manufacturer with production facilities in Denver and Cherry Hill, N.C., offers a design that allows the homeowner to buy the home and remain there during every stage of life because it will never "outgrow" the owner. The design provides amenities that make navigating the home possible no matter what a person's age or physical constraints.

R-Anell Homes designed a home concept that allows a homeowner to remain during every stage of life.

"Aging in place is a concept that predicts physical impairment in the future and prepares for that remodeling within the design," says Doug Williams, R-Anell Homes vice president of total quality and customer care. "Anticipating the design needed for the future is really a partnership between the homeowner and the builder. The homebuyers would take the lead role in making sure the builder knows that they want a plan that prepares for aging in place."
Some of R-Nell's designs that would be implemented for aging in place are:

  • Doorways are 30 inches standard, although the doorway can be modified to later expand to 36 inches. This would include exterior entry doorways and all interior doorways.
  • Walls in a bathroom would have nailing blocks embedded at the time of construction to provide the needed strength and support to affix grab bars by the commodes.
  • Guest bathrooms, typically smaller than master bathrooms, would have to be enlarged in square footage at the time of original construction.
  • To be wheelchair accessible, bathrooms would need a five-foot turning radius. This would mean designing the bathrooms in an R-Anell to be larger from the beginning in anticipation of handicap access; and
  • On the exterior, a front entrance with a stoop allows for installing a ramp, and the entrance area at the front door provides the required five-foot turning radius to be wheelchair accessible.