Phone/ Fax: 804-693-7038
Hours: 9am - 5pm Monday through Friday or by special appointment
As a young boy, I had two cousins who had Muscular Dystrophy. We were close, and for some time I got to see them daily. I got to see how difficult it was to accomplish the simplest of tasks. Areas of the house that were off limits merely because their wheelchairs couldn't fit through the doors, or there were stairs in the way. It gave me a real appreciation and understanding of the challenges some people face in their everyday lives. And, I remember even as a kid thinking there had to be a better way. As my business grew, I found I had a special talent for working with people of varying abilities. So, when the National Association of Homebuilders developed their Certified Aging in Place Specialist designation, I quickly pursued my certification. Today, most homes I design incorporate some aspects of accessible design. Who doesn't like a slightly wider hallway? Or doors? Almost a third of new homes I design have provisions for an elevator. This idea of Universal Design means we can have a house that comfortably fits our active lifestyle today, and will age gracefully right along with us, allowing us to stay in our homes longer rather than move to other accommodations. This aspect of my profession has taken me in directions I could never have expected, such as, being Nationally published three times or asked to be a guest speaker at a national conference.
And let's face it. Getting older is fashionable - everybody's doing it!
...There were Lincoln Logs. The dog chewed those, so I was promised another set. I'm still waiting on my Lincoln Logs. Then came Legos, Erector sets, and Girder & Panel building sets (what kids these days are missing out on).
As a young man, I helped my father on small residential projects. This in turn led to my first paying job as a designer for a local lumber supplier, and then an architect. I worked my way through my first degree in Mechanical Technology with a design minor. That degree combined with my experience with the building envelope (windows, doors, insulation, etc.) earned me a position as an Energy Specialist for the local electrical utility company. Just prior to getting married in 1990, I was recruited by Newport News Shipbuilding to work as a designer on nuclear submarines.
Procedurally, there is little difference in the design of a submarine versus a house. You still have a client (the US Navy), a building code (ship specifications), and a need to work with other disciplines on a schedule. About the only difference is the lack of a screen door on a submarine.
After the birth of my eldest daughter in 1995, I decided to leave the shipyard and be a stay-at-home Dad (an uncommon thing in 1995) and develop Homesite.