After Ron Knecht’s wife was diagnosed with cancer, she asked her husband to promise he would move from their Fairfax home to Nokesville after she was gone, to be closer to their grown daughter, so they could look after each other. When that time came and he began looking for a home to buy, all he could find available were houses with stairs, chopped-up floorplans, and high maintenance issues. After observing his wife’s physical impairments in everyday living, Ron wanted a home that he could easily maneuver in and maintain as he aged. In addition to accessibility features, Ron also wanted an energy efficient home and one that required little maintenance.
After searching for months and finding nothing, he decided to have one built. Ron narrowed his choices of contractors familiar with universal design to Golden Rule Builders. Together we developed a plan for a home that would be highly energy efficient, usable for anyone regardless of age or ability, and practically maintenance free.
Now Ron’s red single-floor home featuring universal design elements from the exterior entry ways to the garage to accessible features in every room, stands as evidence to a promise kept to his late wife.
GRB Universal Design Home Receives GreenBuilder Best Aging-in-Place Home Award
Golden Rule was awarded this recognition for the Universal Design home we built for Ron Knecht in Nokesville, Fauquier County, Virginia.
Ron Knecht Universal Design home featured in:
Looking for a contractor familiar with energy-efficient design, Knecht considered five builders in the area, talking with references and reviewing projects. He settled on Golden Rule Builders, an experienced green builder and winner of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) Builder of the Year award.
Anthony Palladino, Building Designer at Golden Rule, acknowledged that while people will come armed with photos and floor plans of homes they like, few have researched their projects as completely as Knecht. Still, certain elements of the plan presented real challenges in order to achieve both what Knecht wanted and to meet building codes. Anthony says, "Sometimes you have to think outside the box. A custom builder needs to be solution oriented to give the client exactly what they want."
Knecht's home was not the first Universal Design project for Golden Rule - it is a concept they espouse as a custom builder. Because custom builders are able to respond to lifestyle requests, they encourage customers to think into the future about how they want to live in and use their homes. Maintaining an active lifestyle can best be accommodated by a home that can be enjoyed and used by all ages, from children to adults to older adults.
Off a gravely road, tucked somewhere between Route 28 and Route 619 Knecht's promise stands true, a red sprawling single-floor home featuring universal design elements in every room. From an extra-wide front walkway to a detached garage with a no-step entry, the eight months Knecht spent researching and pouring over blueprints certainly are evident throughout, as he partnered with Catlett residential designer Anthony Palladino, 34, of Golden Rule Builders to build the company's biggest [Universal Design] project to date while focusing on three central components of universal design: safety, comfort and sustainability. All accomplished while still being aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Making a home more livable is what universal design, and Golden Rule Builders, is all about.
After months of searching, Knecht decided to have one built. Working with Golden Rule Builders, a local green builder that had experience with universal design, Knecht spent the next few months extensively researching accessible design. Together, what he and Golden Rule came up with is the equivalent of a super-house. Ultra efficient, universally designed to a T, and virtually maintenance free, evidence of careful research and planning is everywhere.