Delivering the Perfect UX in our Homes
At AV Architect’s + Builders, when we say we design and build homes for Vacation Style Living™, we consider that one of the last things anyone wants to do on vacation is chores. Home maintenance, is necessary, especially as we draw closer to Winter, but we want our clients to live in a home where their weekend isn’t filled with constant tasks around the house. One of our inspirations are the many advances in technology that make life simpler. And, just like the User Experience (UX) on a website should be smooth and trouble-free, we want our homes to provide the ideal UX with our homes.
Modern Materials are Beautiful and Better
In the home building market, there is a myth that “natural” is somehow better than engineered. We disagree. Over and over, in our research and our decades of experience, we have found engineered products that look the same or better, last longer, and take less effort to maintain. The consistency of the look is highly compatible with the simple, sleek modernist aesthetic that we aim for in all our designs. Furthermore, the manmade products we use align with our goal of sustainability, because they use materials that have a positive environmental impact. Here are some of the successful technologies we deploy for our clients:
Wood alternatives: We use engineered hardwood or luxury vinyl products instead of natural hardwood for flooring since they are easier to clean, last longer and look amazing. Similarly, for outdoor decks, we use engineered decking such as Timbertech instead of Ipe (Brazilian walnut) because they don’t need power washing or other tedious, annual maintenance. We use PVC like Nichiha instead of wood trim for a long lasting and beautiful look. Alternatives to natural wood makes it easier to maintain and these manmade products are sustainable.
Roofing: We use recycled, rubber product for our roofs, which is an excellent, sustainable alternative to ordinary slate tiles. These shingles, like the amazing DaVinci product, are an excellent way to keep the house from becoming a project; they last and need no maintenance.
Kitchen: For a clean, trouble-free kitchen, we use quartz instead of granite on the countertops and melamine slab doors instead of wood for the cabinets. While some people love the look of wood, we believe melamine is a better alternative. Not only is it beautiful, lasting, easy to clean, and available in hundreds of options, but the material isn’t impacted by the Northern Virginia climate, expanding in the humid summers, and contracting in the dry heat in winter.
Being Smart About a Smart Home
We think all the appliances and systems in a home should be managed through an automation solution available on your smart phone. We wire our houses and create sophisticated networks that can deliver custom lighting, keep an eye on the plumbing to catch leaks, and create a great room that can transform from a sunny, bright gathering area to a fully blacked-out, surround sound movie venue. We use high end appliances, many of which have smart components, and heating and cooling can be regulated from one room to another. All of this makes the home a seamless, comfortable, safe space to relax and enjoy.
When we thought about the UX for smart homes, we talked to our friends at Fatlab Web Support to learn more about the original UX location – the internet. “When our clients go to their website, they want to see a customer engagement that is easy to navigate, quick to load and trouble free,” says Dolores Alonso. Fatlab provides that UX through next level support services, managing the back end with the same care we use to select the materials for our homes. The end result are beautiful, sophisticated websites that clients are proud to promote. “Fatlab makes it possible to forget about the technical operation of the website and focus on your business,” says Dolores. We couldn’t agree more with this approach since we want our clients to focus on Vacation Style Living.
If you want a UX for your custom, modern home that minimizes maintenance and maximizes enjoyment, contact us for a free consultation.