According to Marty, her 1970’s Carrboro home was moved during the following decade to nearby Pittsboro. When Chad toured the property to discuss bee damage, he was greeted by Marty’s dog tumbling down the interior staircase. As Chad was invited in, he couldn’t help but notice the staircase from which the dog had fallen. The stairs were excessively narrow, with a rise that exceeded current code standards as well as those at the time the home was built. Additionally, the stair treads sported a cupped distortion across their width. In Chad’s opinion, these characteristics, paired with their slick pine construction and unusual location in the home, was an accident just waiting to result in significant injury. In fact, Marty said her dog took fairly regular plummets down the staircase. As she pondered when it would be her turn to fall, she joked about installing a nearby phone line so she could call 911 if she took an inadvertent plunge.
As Chad and Marty walked the entire home, Chad recommended general maintenance improvements and offered a simple solution for the exterior bee punctures that Marty could do herself. Chad said that while they had laughed about the phone at the base of the stairs, he felt it was a real concern, as the existing staircase was very unsafe. He learned the stairs were added to the home after it was moved to its current location, at which time a second floor was also added. The stairs were placed in a space they fit; functionality and safety did not seem to be priorities, if even considerations.
Chad suggested a new staircase location that would allow for safety, more width, more usable space upstairs, and compliance with code standards. The existing location was in Marty’s bedroom and the center of the bonus room, where it took up a large amount of space. Furthermore, it was dangerous without handrails for support. For anyone with potential mobility, strength, and/or flexibility limitations, the existing staircase was hazardous. A secondary stairway leading to the basement was already in place in another location of the home. Chad knew that a new flight of stairs using the basement staircase as support would be far more space efficient and would also minimize the cost of materials. It would additionally allow for a much needed closet in the first floor bedroom. Marty loved the idea, and once the project was complete, Marty was thrilled with the transformation.
With Chad’s extensive experience, he was able to keep Marty’s home livable during the renovation process. His goal was to make a minimal negative impact on Marty’s existing home while incorporating Aging-In-Place/
“Chad used his left brain to work through the technicalities of the remodel, and used his right brain and creative vision to transform my house into a beautiful, artful home,” Marty comments. “He looked around and came up with imaginative solutions that made my home much more livable and a place I really enjoy. It was a marvel to see the transformation…
An area native, NC Licensed General Contractor, National Association of Home Builders Certified Green ProfessionalTM, and Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, Chad is one of only 48 Accredited Master Builders in the state. He achieved this professional designation after numerous hours of coursework via the NC Builder Institute. Chad has been an active member of the building industry since the early 1990’s. He joined the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties in 2005. Chad was soon named HBA Recruiter of the Year and he subsequently chaired various HBA committees. Chad is a Licensed Home Inspector and he is a Licensed Lead Abatement professional. In addition to industry awards in recognition of excellence in home building and remodeling, Chad has twice been named Builder of the Year via the HBA’s Triangle Sales and Marketing Council MAME (Major Achievements in Marketing Excellence) Awards. Most recently, Chad has accepted the opportunity to serve as Vice President of the NC HBA.
“I use the principles of Universal Design in all of my projects,” says Chad. “They just make sense, for today and for tomorrow. Education is key in Universal Design as well as numerous other areas. I’m proud to say I make industry education a priority. If I wasn’t knowledgeable when I met with Marty, her staircase would still be an area of monumental concern. I’m happy I could help her. Every project is exciting and I look forward to each one.”
For more information on Chad and Collins Design-Build, visit www.collinsdesignbuild.com, call 919-422-2818, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.