This wooded, rolling four and a half acres of Frankfort, Illinois countryside set the scene for greatness and Gander Builders, a handicap home builder, delivered it in the form of a 4,600 square foot French Contemporary wheelchair accessible home. The small hillside and creek view afforded the Frankfort home builder with an unique opportunity to include both a walk-out basement and a nearby concrete overhang patio with an excellent view. Gander Builders clearly meant this handicap home to complement rather than dominate the landscape.
Large scale is a key point in the construction of this home. It has enough room for entertaining in the kitchen and great room, while still keeping the rustic charm of contemporary French provincial design. The main challenge for Steve, as a handicap home builder, was building a handicap home that didn’t look like a handicap home – while maintaining strict wheelchair accessibility. To this end, the home designers and architects worked together to provide user-friendly vanities and counter tops as well as a fully functional elevator for easy access to all levels of the wheelchair accessible house. Gander Builders thoughtfully installed a ramped sidewalk going to the front of the house. The whole garage floor is a ramp leading into the house as well. The service door leading to the attached garage opens automatically with a single button push.
French provincial homes are famed for their massive fireplaces. Gander Builders designed this contemporary home with three. They choose traditional dry-stacking for the the masonry technique in order to give the rooms a warm and rustic feel. The great room uses over-sized gable timbers to coordinate with the large fireplace and make the room seem like a cozy lodge, in spite of its overall size.
The study is a departure from the rustic decor of the rest of the house. Gander Builders chose to panel the study with rich inlaid wood from floor to ceiling. This style change makes the study an oasis of grandeur. Built in bookcases and showcases make a perfect backdrop for books and other collections. The owner uses the main showcase to display an extensive golf putter collection, which it does perfectly.
The basement is in the middle-ground between finished and unfinished. Gander Builders added a stain to the concrete floor to give the room a more inviting feel. The basement houses an indoor jet pool under the sky and cloud pattern ceiling. Gander Builders installed fiberglass windows and a commercial grade dehumidifier to keep excess moisture at bay.
All of the concrete floors use a radiant heat source, including the basement, attached garage and detached garage. Gander builders added diamond plating throughout the detached garage to create a museum appearance as a backdrop for the owner’s race car collection.
This French contemporary home sits lightly on the rolling, partially wooded property. The large windows offer unparalleled views of the landscape and creek. The separate rooms are large enough to give the illusion of an open floor plan, but styled to be warm and inviting. Despite the rustic decor, the house is fully modern and wheelchair accessible.