Tag Archives: LIFEhouse

Next Generation Custom Homes Built For a Lifetime

Newport Cove builder Susanne Tauke will be speaking at the NAHB International Builders Show in Las Vegas on January 22 about one of her favorite topics: Homes Built for a Lifetime – Strategies & Consumer Preferences. Susanne shares from-the-ground-up ideas on what it takes to build homes that function well throughout a homeowner’s lifetime. Next generation custom homes are blending beauty, safety and functionality in a purposeful way.

Susanne Tauke inside the LIFEhouse™model at Newport Cove

Builder Susanne Tauke in the LIFEhouse™ model at Newport Cove near Antioch, Ill.


A portion of Susanne’s presentation will highlight the LIFEhouse™, one of three furnished models open at Newport Cove. LIFEhouse is the winner of the 2012 NAHB 50-Plus Housing Gold Award for the Best Universally Designed Home and winner of the Home Builder’s Association of Greater Chicago (HBAGC) Gold Key Award for the best home under 2,000 square feet. The LIFEhouse is an example of real-life application of Universal Design that improves quality of life for a diverse set of homeowners across age groups.

Susanne Tauke is president of New American Homes, developer of Newport Cove, and a recognized leader in building human-centric, custom homes. “Consumer preferences are changing. Open concept floor plans allow for flexibility. Well-designed smaller homes are easier to maintain and more energy efficient. Home safety, “smart” features and adequate storage are appreciated benefits. Outdoor living spaces are important to relax and enjoy the surrounding environment,” she says.

What exhibits, classes and events at the NAHB International Builders Show excite her most?

  • New product innovations.  “The International Builders Show highlights the latest and greatest building products,” she says.  “It is a wonderful opportunity to have a hands-on experience with these new products.”
  • Building trends.  “The National Association of Home Builders does a great deal of research on building trends.  It is good for builders to be ahead of these trends, whether they are the death of the living room or the advent of the technological home,” she notes.

Let us know what news and views you would like to hear from the 2013 NAHB International Builders Show in Las Vegas.

Andersen Windows Donates to LIFEhouse™ for a Hero


The Cottages at Newport Cove feature the new 100 Series Windows from Andersen Windows. We feel good about choosing the 100 Series products. And, we feel grateful that Andersen has donated all the windows and patio doors for Newport Cove’s LIFEhouse™

A carpenter installs Andersen 100 Series windows in the LIFEhouse™ for a Hero

for a Hero, a home now under construction which will be donated to a wounded American war veteran.

Andersen’s 100 Series windows are made from the company’s new Fibrex® material. The Fibrex® composite frame and sash contain 40 percent reclaimed wood fiber. The glass used contains 12 percent reclaimed glass. An added plus is that the windows are made right here in the United States. (Newport Cove is committed to using American-made products in its homes.)

Andersen 100 Series products are twice as stable and rigid as vinyl, yet the maintenance-free Fibrex® ensures that the windows and doors will look as beautiful in 10 years as the day they are installed. Seamless corners, low-profile hardware and an attractive matte interior finish add beauty and durability to this product.

Most window and door warranties are prorated and end when a home is sold. Andersen’s warranty keeps its full value for 10 years and transfers from owner to owner. The company is well-known for its outstanding warranty service.

Andersen Windows is a privately owned business that was founded in 1903 by Danish immigrant Hans Andersen and his family in Hudson, Wisconsin, where logs used to manufacture the windows arrived via the St. Croix River. Today Andersen Corporation employs some 9,000 people at more than 20 locations.  It is still headquartered along the St. Croix River, now in Bayport, Minnesota, in a 2.8 million-square-foot facility that covers 65 acres. Andersen annually manufactures more than six million windows and doors, making it the leader in its industry.

LIFEhouse™ Wins International Building Award

The LIFEhouse™ at Newport Cove received a Best of 50+ Housing Award from the National Association of Home Builders during the recent International Builders Show in Orlando, Fla. The Gold Award in the Best Universal Designed Home category was presented to Susanne and Beth Tauke for a concept house they built near Antioch in suburban Chicago.Read about the award: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9201195.htm

A Home for Life

Special design of the LIFEhouse.

If you want to live in a lake house and live there for a long time, you might take a look at the LIFEhouse. This special concept house has just opened in Newport Cove, a waterfront community on the Chain O’ Lakes. The LIFEhouse is a home for all ages, designed to be especially safe for those under age six, over 60 and everywhere in between. It offers universal design features that make everyday living a little easier and that can accommodate more people for a longer time in their lives. Builder New American Homes calls it “a home for ALL of your life.”

The home was built in collaboration with the internationally renowned Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA CENTER), which is affiliate with the College of Architecture at the University of Buffalo, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system.

It is a 2,000 square –foot living laboratory of a safer home that is more user-friendly for a wider range of people.
Susanne Tauke, owner of New American Homes, said that IDEA Center experts (architects, engineers) took a standard Newport Cove house plan and “tweaked” it to make it adhere to universal design principles.

“It makes sense to design accessibility into every home ,” she said. “Too often this means an ‘institutional’ feel. The goal of the LIFEhouse is to provide an attractive, stylish, yet easier-to-live-in house .”

From the outside, the LIFEhouse appears as a charming cottage. Tucked into the landscape and front porch design is an unobtrusive bricked ramp ready to accommodate those who might have issues with steps. Another plus is that the ramp makes moving things in an out of the house easier.

  Far from ordinary : The LIFEhouse at Newport Cove on Bluff Lake looks like an “ordinary” lake cottage, but special features inside and out make it unique. Throughout, special features like a kitchen where everything can be reached whether standing or sitting, are built in to the home . The LIFEhouse design helps residents of all ages and all abilities enjoy the home for more years of their lifetime.

The front door is 42 inches wide. There is no “step up”. Also making the ranch home accessible is an interior elevator that stops on the first floor, the garage and the finished lower level. The kitchen has a contemporary trendy look, yet it meets universal design satandards. The appliances – dishwasher, cooktop, oven, refrigerator ,microwave and warming drawer – are all within reach where a person is sitting or standing. The space is exceptionally well-lit with over cabinet, under cabinet, celling, pendant and natural lighting. Faucets, sinks and cabinets are compliant with the American With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Two of the three full baths serve those with special needs, while the third has many universal design features. The two accessible baths have double-bowl vanities with the bowls at two different levels, showers without curbs and with seats, multilevel faucets and comfort-height toilets, special lighting, memory niches and easy-to-use handles.

The doors, windows and cabinets, security features, green and low-maintenance materials all add to the home’s livability.

The house offers another 1,700 square feet to finished space in an English-style basement with ample windows. Here another bedroom and bath are available should the need arise. “This could be perfect for an elderly parent, an adult child coming home, or care-giver,” said Tauke, noting that the lower level is accessible via the elevator from the garage. A resident would not need to go through the main part of the home to reach it.

Corporate sponsors of the Newport Cove LIFEhouse include KitchenAid appliances, Kohler faucets and fixture Silestone quartz countertops, Pella windows, Sea Gull lighting fixtures, Leviton lighting switches, MidContinent cabinets, Carrier furnaces, Certaneed concrete fiber siding, M&S Tile and Stone, Home Technology System and PerfikDek decking and rails.

Newport Cove is located at Bluff Lake and Elime Roads in unincorporated Lake Country, just south of Anitoch on Bluff lake, one of the 10 lakes that comprise the Chain O’ Lakes. The community offers 67 single-family home-sites on 42 rolling acres. Forty percent of the development is open space, including an 8-acre waterfront park anchored by a community pavilion (with rest room and cooking facilities) and a marina with 100-plus boat slips. Home prices at Newport Cove start at $325,000.
The LIFEhouse, along with Newport Cove’s other model homes are open from noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday or by appointment. For further information, call Newport-cove at (847) 7262727or visit  www.newportcoveonline.com

Stairway Savvy

Ever trip going down the stairs to your basement? Here’s a safety tip from New American Homes, award-winning builder of Newport Cove, a planned waterfront community on the Chain O’ Lakes:

 In dark stairwells, vary the color of the stair treads. Shown here is the stairwell to the lower level in the LIFEhouse, a concept house featuring universal design and opening soon at Newport Cove. Note how the stair carpet color changes. Note the rope lighting routed into the stairrail. These are two inexpensive ideas to add a smart (and interesting) touch of safety to your home.