Prospective homeowners will be delighted to know all aspects of their new living space – including the communal areas – have been considered during the design process, helping to make their lives more comfortable and a little easier
A great deal of creative planning goes into the design features of each McCarthy & Stone property, particularly when it comes to the elements that you are likely to use every day.
Andrew Robbins is head of product development for McCarthy & Stone. He says: “Our aim is that our design features are so effortless to use that our homeowners barely notice them.
“We want them to both look good and make life easier, and see this as a constantly evolving process. By talking to the people who actually use them, we find out what they think works well and where there might be room for improvement.”
Here, Andrew explains how McCarthy & Stone apartments are evolving to make their homeowners’ lives easier, both today and long into the future.
Everything to Hand
Kitchen worktops and cupboards in the developments are being positioned 50mm lower than they tend to be in standard kitchens. This doesn’t sound as if it would make much of a difference – and you probably wouldn’t notice the lower height – but we are making this change following customer feedback. It means most homeowners will be able to reach the top shelf of their cupboards more easily.
Kitchen windows in Retirement Living PLUS (RLP) developments have electric controls to open and close. Instead of having to stretch over worktops and sinks, homeowners simply push and hold a small button and the windows open. It’s safer and more convenient.
Low-level shower trays with a minimal, 15mm lip are recessed into the bathroom floor in RL developments, while RLP apartments have walk-in wet rooms and grab rails. The showers have easy-grip on-off and temperature controls, and there is slip-resistant flooring. Grab rails can be retrofitted or altered at both development types at any time.
Easy-reach Plug Sockets
The plug sockets in all McCarthy & Stone developments are positioned at a higher level to help avoid bending and for ease of use.
Generous Space for Clothes
Most apartments feature walk-in wardrobes, which make it easy to keep everything organised and within easy reach.
Seamless Outdoor Access
Flush, or non-step threshold access to apartments’ balconies and terraces makes it easier to enjoy outside spaces, even if mobility is proving an issue. Automatic doors lead into the main entrance of most developments, while frequently used internal doors to communal areas are either electronically held open or have push buttons to allow easy access.
Developments have generous facilities that are available to all homeowners, including a lounge, which features a tea-making station, with an on- site restaurant or bistro and a laundry in RLP. Meanwhile, the provision of internal mobility scooter storage and charging rooms with direct access to the outside mean homeowners can get themselves organised and ready for their trip at their leisure before heading out.
In the future, most landscaped communal gardens will incorporate raised planting beds, allowing green-fingered homeowners to get involved with tending to them. There are footpaths throughout the landscaped areas, which provide great opportunities for walks and exercise in the fresh air. Many developments have attractive pergolas or summer houses, providing both shelter and shade.
Security and Alarm Systems
All properties have camera-entry systems, which mean you can see who is calling via the television screen in your apartment. There is also an alarm call system, with alert buttons at points throughout the apartments that connect homeowners to 24-hour assistance. Calls go to a monitoring service that can either alert on-site help or call the emergency services, depending on the level of assistance required.
For a small charge, typically £25, many developments feature a guest suite, providing hotel-style accommodation, perfect for when family and friends come to visit. This means that you can enjoy all the pleasures of having overnight guests without any of the hard work or disruption such as changing beds and laundering sheets. Homeowners taking trips in the UK who would prefer not to stay in a hotel can also book these suites. They are also available to potential buyers, under McCarthy & Stone’s “Try before you buy” scheme, offering a taste of the lifestyle enjoyed by homeowners.
How McCarthy & Stone Can Help You Move
Moving home can be a daunting prospect but if you decide that the lifestyle McCarthy & Stone offers is right for you, then it has a range of services in place that will help keep things as simple as possible.
For example, through the company’s “Try before you buy” scheme you can enjoy a complimentary two-night stay in a fully furnished retirement apartment, giving you plenty of opportunities to meet homeowners and staff.
Meanwhile, the Part Exchange scheme provides a guaranteed buyer for your old home, avoiding the hassles of selling on the open market. You can retain access to the property you are selling for up to two weeks after completing on your new apartment, avoiding the stress of having to do everything on the moving-in day.
Access to a free removals service puts you in the safe hands of an expert downsizing team. They can help you declutter before packing up your belongings and transporting them to your new home. They even help you unpack at the other end.
Then it’s over to McCarthy & Stone’s handymen, who can help with tasks such as hanging pictures and mirrors – meaning your new apartment will feel like home in next to no time.