previous
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Shorten a Prehung Door
    Shorten a Prehung Door
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Buyer's Guide to Insulation
    Buyer's Guide to Insulation
  • Remodeling in Action
    Remodeling in Action
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Play the Inspector Game!
    Play the Inspector Game!
  • The Hobbit House and More
    The Hobbit House and More
  • The Passive House Build
    The Passive House Build
  • How to Install Housewrap Solo
    How to Install Housewrap Solo
  • 12 Remodeling Secrets
    12 Remodeling Secrets
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Electrical Articles & Videos
    Electrical Articles & Videos
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Video: Build a curved step
    Video: Build a curved step
next
Pin It

A House for All Ages

An energy efficient modern day farm house offers single-floor living wrapped in low-maintenance, charming detail

In this article, architect Duncan McPherson describes a 2460-sq.-ft. home he designed in western North Carolina, which is Fine Homebuilding's best-retirement-home winner for 2012. The main level, which is accessed by an at-grade entrance, is organized into two zones. The private zone includes the master suite, a small office, and a laundry storage area; the public zone includes kitchen, dining, and living spaces. The open layout takes advantage of expansive southern views, and the position of the house means that sunlight enters from two and sometimes three sides. The lower level includes storage areas, a guest bedroom and bathroom, a flex space, and a potting shed. Entries are step free, doorways are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, and the main circulation paths have a 5-ft. turning radius. Light switches are 40 in. above the floor, and blocking was installed in the bathroom to allow for the placement of grab bars at a later time. In addition to its suitability as an accessible home, this house was also designed to be energy efficient. It benefits from passive-solar heat gain, it's insulated with spray foam, and an air-to-air heat pump coupled with an energy-recovery ventilator reduces heating costs. Finally, its durability was enhanced both by material choices and by steps taken to control moisture.

Online Extra: 2012 HOUSES Best Retirement Home

A House for All Ages

Become a Fine Homebuilding Member

to view this article and over a thousand more

Learn More