Universal Design & “Green Initiatives”
By Kim Henry. Previously published in the 2015 Summer Issue.
Del Webb’s 50+ Homebuyer Trends
Building the ultimate home for the active 50-plus community is the goal of Del Webb, a division of Pulte Homes. This company has carried out extensive research in order to understand the exact needs, desires and wishes of their clientele. Add to this customer validation and personalization options on all designs, plus the opportunity to experience a Del Webb community before purchasing and performance testing on every new home, and it’s no wonder that Del Webb is a building company of choice.
“Our consumer-inspired approach means that we are continually responding to the needs and desires of prospective homeowners.”
Speak to any Del Webb employee and the first thing they will emphasize is that this company is “extremely focused on being consumer-inspired.” Thanks to their comprehensive surveys and client-led dialogue, Del Webb has discovered exactly what people want from their homes as they approach retirement, and the 12 floor plans that Del Webb offers reflect every desired feature in one form or another.
Some of the most popular requests draw upon Universal Design principles and include wide doorways for fluid mobility, lowered microwaves and raised dishwashers for easy access, and zero entry thresholds from the garage into the home. Moving on to the master bedroom, Del Webb floor plans even offer mini-masters to accommodate couples who have different sleeping patterns. Laundry rooms are adjacent to master bedrooms to eliminate carrying laundry around the house and every master has plenty of closet space. All en-suite bathrooms have wide, multi-head showers, responding to the current trend that favors showers over bathtubs. “People want to focus on enjoying their loved ones and entertaining. They want a spacious, single level home with design features that allow chores to flow easily and can readily accommodate family members,” explains William Cutler, the President for the Coastal Carolinas Division of Pulte Homes. This is clearly reflected in open plan designs that have versatile seating arrangements and large islands. Covered lanais, screened-in porches and patios allow the fun to flow easily between the indoors and out. And although all of the twelve floor plans are single level in essence, they do have the option of an additional loft for a game room or extra bedroom and bathroom for the grandchildren.
Del Webb continues to demonstrate that they have truly listened to their clientele. “We understand how important it is that our homes are energy efficient, which is why we perform an energy efficiency test on every new home,” reassures Tipton. Tankless water heaters, R-38 insulation and radiant barrier roof sheathing are just a few of the many implementations that fall under the green umbrella. “Through our extensive experience with the active adult buyer, we understand how important predictable utility costs are to a fixed income. This is another reason why energy efficiency is an integral aspect of our homes,” explains Tipton.
To really seal the deal, Del Webb also offers a degree of flexibility that allows people to personalize their homes. The specific needs of the prospective homebuyers are understood through a consultation process and a host of modifications are then on offer. These include original color schemes, a choice in location, additional loft space or a screened-in porch, a variety of appliance packages, diverse flooring options and a range of ceiling trims and molds. Many plans include butler’s pantries where wine coolers are incorporated.
The Del Webb product may differ slightly from coast to coast due to geographical influences, but the culture of the company is clearly very consistent. “Our consumer-inspired approach means that we are continually responding to the needs and desires of prospective homeowners,” reiterates Cutler. “We aim to create inspired communities and the endless referrals that we receive, and pristine reputation that we have built throughout our 60 years of experience are testament to the fact that I think we are doing a pretty good job.”
Del Webb Special Features
· Laundry area next to master suite
· No carrying loads of clothes through the house
· Curved multi-level countertops
· Raised dishwasher
· No standing on tiptoes with a lowered microwave
· Open floor plans allow seamless flow
· A place for everything and then some
· Abundant, natural light throughout
· Plenty of well-designed storage
· Less clutter. More organization.
· Add a spacious personal guest space
· Use as a second living area
· Turn into a grand kids hideout or your movie den