Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,613 sf
Daylight Basement
1,456 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Safe Haven
Full of universal design features for aging in place, the Safe Haven has extra large spaces in the main living areas for ease of movement and for those who just prefer larger spaces. The built-in dining nook is the focus of the living area, but from it, the diner can focus on nature to the south. A grand fireplace wall in the living area and a small wood stove in the bedroom as well as the entertainment room below assure that the home will be comfy in winter even during power outages when the sun is not shining. Beginning at the front door, and continuing throughout, windows are carefully placed to admit the right amount of light and heat just like the Conservation Showhome from which it evolved.
First Floor
The primary living areas are on the sunny south side. That leaves the cooler north side for the more utilitarian spaces such as baths, laundry, stairs and mechanical spaces. The central study nook is out of the bright sun, but still close to the public living spaces.
The kitchen is ideally placed close to the parking area for bringing in groceries and close to the laundry that has a large counter for working with vegetables straight from the garden. The large pantry is near the kitchen but central enough to be used as other type of storage as well.
The spacious master bedroom, closet and bath allow for plenty of room to maneuver in a wheelchair as do the other spaces and doorways throughout the house. The extra wide straight staircase is designed for a stair lift to be added instead of the more expensive wheelchair.
Daylight Basement
The south-facing daylight basement (or ground floor) with 9' ceilings has two sunny bedrooms and a large recreation room large enough for dining and a kitchenette. This level allows for multigenerational living when either the young or old need to spend extensive time in the house. The extra large bathroom is very spacious for wheelchair access. The large storage area with access to the root cellar would be close to a southern garden and nearby sunny patio.
Carports are more visually-friendly than garages and are ideal for homes with enclosed storage areas elsewhere such as in the basement. This large, single-vehicle carport easily accommodates access to and from a wheelchair. Proximity to the kitchen makes it ideal for a covered outdoor space for parties.
Construction Info
The conventionally stick-framed walls are flexible with insulation needs from warm to cold climates, but are easily adaptable to other systems. The economical truss framed roof with raised heels allows for extra thick, economical insulation while the truss-framed floors accommodate duct work and utilities. Both floors have 9' ceilings. The integral thermal mass of the basement concrete slab tempers the winter heat gain while moderating inside temperatures in summer for both floors since they are open. The exterior is designed for horizontal cement board siding, stone veneer foundation and a metal roof which makes for a low-maintenance home resistant to exterior fires.
Modification Ideas
Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should be undertaken with professional assistance.
  • Reduce the square footage by reducing the width of the master bedroom, dining and foyer area.
  • Add an elevator to access the lower level
  • Reverse the plan and make the corner porch a morning sun room
Construction Drawings
For this plan, the following are included with Construction Prints and CAD Files:
  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Plan
  • First Floor Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
  • Carport Plans
Comments and Photos
Lauren and family generously shared photos with us. They often rent out the lower level as a separate apartment - the home design allows for both a separate exterior and an interior entry via the staircase.