All News & Blogs
House in the Estates of Chancellorsville was custom built to fit Sgt. John Peck.
LEFT: With the touch of a button or iPad, shelves slide down from the kitchen cabinets.
View More Images from this story
Visit the Photo Place
Enter the bathroom, and the first thing that happens is the toilet seat cover lifts up via a motion sensor. But that is hardly all that this touchpad-operated toilet does. The $2,500 appliance doubles as a bidet, automatically leaving the user clean and dry.
There is also a jetted tub and a separate roll-in shower with body sprays from the walls and ceiling in addition to the standard shower head. Soon to be added is a teakwood bench built to fit the perimeter of the shower. Teak shrugs off standing water and damp conditions.
As in the kitchen, bathroom faucets are on the left, within Peck's reach to adjust the water flow and temperature.
The house is thoroughly wired, allowing Peck to activate the whole-house sound system, adjust heating and cooling--even monitor the exterior of his house with soffit-mounted cameras. And he can do these things with his iPad, whether he's in the living room or half a world away.
Another high-tech feature is the weather sensor on the roof of the oversized, two-car garage. If there's ice or snow, the sensor activates a heating system beneath the turnaround portion at the top of the driveway, allowing Peck to maneuver his specially designed Chevrolet Silverado Z71 pickup safely before proceeding.
(The pickup has a laterally opening door that then lifts his motorized wheelchair into the cab, where it is locked into place behind the wheel. Special controls allow him to drive the vehicle.)
For the most part, the home looks like any other, inside and out. Some living areas are already furnished, thanks to a donation from Virginia's own Bassett Furniture. The laundry room is already equipped with an easy-to-use front-loading pair.
The house has 2,532 square feet of living space with three bedrooms, two full baths and a half-bath.
It's a handsome design that is largely maintenance-free. The single story ranch has overlapping gables for visual interest and is covered in broad, white HardiPlank siding. It was landscaped during a recent community volunteer event.
By far the lion's share of cost of the house is borne by the foundations with help from the VA. Pruitt put the market value of the house with the "smart" technology at about $650,000. The actual cost of Peck's house is significantly less because of donated labor and at-cost materials. She said the technology alone costs about $60,000.
Richard Amrhine: 540/374-5406
Here are the trade partners and vendors that worked with American Heritage Homes in building Sgt. John Peck's home: