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Most Expensive Home Sales in Phoenix

Here are the Valley's top home sales from the past week (9.8.14 - 9.14.14).

Scottsdale - Guard Gated Golf Course Community of Silverleaf - 6300000

Scottsdale - Guard Gated Golf Course Community of Silverleaf - $6,300,000


Universal Design: One Size Fits All

You may have heard about Universal Design or Design for All. Our Gilbert-based general contracting company, Arizona Structures, uses many of these concepts in our new homes and remodeling projects. 

Universal Design creates spaces for everyone without changing the look of an average home. 

You, your children, as well and your aging, perhaps physically challenged, parents. 

Accessibility, flexibility and safety are key elements with Universal Design. Spaces should be user friendly for all people, regardless of their age or ability levels.

The renowned architect, Michael Graves, has made significant contributions to Universal Design. An unfortunate illness left him in a wheelchair in 2003, and he has since designed products and public and private buildings which are user friendly. His first day in the wheelchair, for instance, he had difficulty reaching both the hot water and the wall outlet. So, he began designing for everyone. 

photo courtesy Hans Grohe USA for az structures

The bathroom and shower floors are at the same level, which removes the difficulty of moving in and out of the shower in a wheelchair and tripping hazards for everyone. And, the hanging shower curtain makes access to the shower easy and still gives privacy. Photo courtesy Hans Grohe USA.

In addition, barrier-free bathroom design can involve 

  • lowered sinks, countertops and cabinets
  • slip-resistant finishes and textured surfaces
  • no step shower enclosure and rolling shower doors
  • elevated toilets
  • lever-actuated components rather than knobs, which often require tight grasping
  • easy-to-use large flat panel switches or automation controls
  • hand rails


A large bathroom offers room for a wheelchair and the added space for maneuverability everyone enjoys. Courtesy TOTO.

Other elements to consider for your home: 

  • anti-scald inductive cooking surfaces in the kitchen
  • wide hallways, ample clearances and easy storage access
  • generous pathways lighting


Incorporating Universal Design, kitchen counters are at the same level for uniform access, allowing for easy access without adding in different heights. To accommodate a cook who uses a wheelchair, space under the sink, cooktop and prep counter is left open. Photo courtesy Cabinets by Design.

Why consider Universal Design in building your new home or renovating your existing space?

For one, Value built into a 21st - century home, these components improve your lifestyle now. Your home is more convenient and comfortable for everyone living there. 

Two, Marketability and Financial Returns. More and more, Universal Design has become a selling point, much as green is now for buyers across the market spectrum. We’ve seen how people, and not just older adults, are asking for components such as hand rails. People like them for their safety, regardless of age. And, today, they are available in a wide variety of styles, from the basic and practical to the more decorative.

When you choose to sell your home 5, 10, 20 years from now, this demand for Universal Design should be even more apparent. Once again, we recall when sustainability was considered by many a trend: It will pass, some said. It hasn’t.

A woman whose home we built a few years back, with many Universal Design features, recently put it on the market and sold immediately. Even though the residential market has somewhat improved recently, she says the buyer bought her home, instead of comparative ones at similar prices, because of Universal Design.

Third, Broad Accessibility: With its flexibility, your home welcomes everyone.

Combining for four decades of experience in building and renovation, Arizona Structures serves the East Valley, Arcadia, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. The first of a multi-part series, this story was assisted by David M. Brown (azwriter.com). Questions? Send them either to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Tom Monte, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



5 Tips to Spruce Up Your Backyard

While Arizona summers are more a time for swimming in your pool than barbecuing in your backyard, the fall is a great time to have friends over for drinks and to roast some s’mores. Before you send out the invites, though, you may need to spruce up your backyard first. Here are some tips from Nancy Duffy of Imagine Backyard Living, a custom backyard and pool designer located in Scottsdale, for Arizonans looking to spruce up their home.

Nancy Duffy Imagine Backyard Living SHowroom Manager


1.      Add a pop of color. Drop the dusty desert colors making your backyard look drab, and brighten up your space instead with a burst of color. “Orange is the new brown,”Duffy says. She recommends mixing together vibrant oranges and lime greens. Make sure not to lose your personal style, though. If you prefer a beach feel for your backyard, then go for dark and light blues. Whatever you do, stay far away from dull colors that make your decor look old or used. “However you landscape back there, I think it makes you feel good when you walk back and see all that color,”Duffy says.

2.      Choose pieces that will stand out. Your backyard is no longer a place for boring portable fire pits, but for statement fireplaces that reach up to 12-feet high and gas logs that look more realistic. “Pizza kitchens are really big right now,”Duffy says. She suggests a two-foot to three-foot high fire pit to add some contrast to your yard. What with beautiful Arizona weather practically year round, people are using their backyards more often than before. “They want to bring the outside in,”Duffy says. “So a lot of your colors and stuff kind of go with your flow of what you’ve got going on inside too.”


3.      Invest in chic and durable decor. Throw out the paper plates and cups, and set your table with fancy wine glasses and utensils. More and more manufacturers are making wine glasses that look like glass, but can withstand being outdoors and going through the dishwasher. “When you drink out of them, you don’t get the feel that you’re drinking out of plastic that you do some of the cheaper ones,”Duffy says. Entertain your guests with new glasses and plates that have fun prints and patterns on them as well. Another tip Duffy recommends is investing in a high-grade fabric for your umbrella that will make the color last longer in the hot Arizona sun.

4.      Rearrange your space. If your backyard is on the smaller side, one easy way to make your space look bigger is with the right-sized patio furniture. Avoid buying oversized furniture that will make your space look cramped. “Cushions are always good on a smaller frame, where the cushion still gives you that look of big nice and comfy,”Duffy says. Make sure you have no-mold cushions that will let you get 10 years of full sun with no fading. Don’t feel the need to fill every space either, but treat your backyard like you would the rest of your home to create a nice flow. “You don’t want too many different things going on where the eye can’t focus,”Duffy says.

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5.      Give life with plants and flowers. To make your backyard look more like a tropical getaway, add palm trees and ferns that will endure the summer without losing their leaves. For those who like the traditional desert look, decorate your plants with fun, colorful pots. If you’re not sure what the best plants are to grow in the desert, Duffy suggests enlisting the help of an expert. “One resource that is so awesome is the Desert Botanical Garden,”she says. “They have classes that teach you what grows well year-round.”You can also hire a designer to come out to your yard and let you know what would grow well there, or how to achieve your preferred theme. 


Give your backyard the attention it deserves, and add new life with the help of these tips!


Broadstone Lincoln Brings Luxury Resort Living to Apartments


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Just outside of Paradise Valley on the gorgeous Camelback-mountain view of Scottsdale, reside the luxurious apartment homes of Broadstone Lincoln by Alliance Residential. Lying on what is described as an “unparalleled location,” the sophisticated luxury living apartments parallel no other. 

“Broadstone Lincoln caters to a turnkey lifestyle, says Business Manager Marissa Hubbard.

“The living spaces showcase condo-grade finishes that appeal to discerning renters-by-choice, and a variety of lifestyle conveniences ensure residents enjoy a true resort living experience. We focus on customer service — right down to the smallest of details, such as changing the light bulbs and water filters, our goal is to create an atmosphere of luxury and escape within each resident’s home.”


Star Baseball Player to Sell Valley Home

San Francisco Giant’s starting pitcher Tim Lincecum is hitting a home run off the field with his recently listed 11,000-sq.-ft. Paradise Valley home.


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