5 Tips to Help You Design a Better Home for Any Life Stage

Posted on: 10 January 2017

Many aspects of home design really depend on your stage of life. For instance, someone with several kids is going to prioritize bedroom locations and safety features when designing their dream home. A retirement-age couple may want to ensure the doorways are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs in case they end up in one a few years down the road. But there are a few aspects of home design that penetrate through most every life stage. Here are some tips to ensure your custom-built home really does end up being the home of your dreams—whether you're having those dreams as a young couple, a settled family, or an older adult.

Allow for a lot of natural light.

No amount of overhead lighting or task lighting will compensate for a lack of natural light in your home. A dimly lit or artificially lit home can impact your health, increasing your risk of seasonal affective disorder and other mood disorders. Dim lighting also makes colors feel less vibrant and your home feel claustrophobic and closed-off. Not to mention, a lack of natural light will force you to rely more on artificial lights which drives up your energy bills.

So when you're planning the layout of your new home, really focus on window placement. Put plenty of windows on the southern side of your home, especially, since these will capture the winter sun. Consider including a skylight in your living room or bedroom to let in even more natural light.

Plan for the future.

Regardless of where you are in your life, you probably don't want to move out of your custom-built "dream home" in two years because it no longer meets your needs. For this reason, it's important to plan ahead. If you're in your 20's and childless, think long and hard about whether you plan to have kids, how many you may have, and how you can build the home to suit your needs at this later life stage. If you're in your 60's, make sure you're planning for possible mobility issues. Even though you can traverse a flight of stairs now, you may not want to do so when you're 75.

Consider traffic flow.

When you're sitting down with your architect or designer and working on the layout of your home, really focus on how traffic will move from one room to another. Many homeowners overlook this and it ends up creating congestion when numerous family members are scurrying through doorways or when they host a holiday party. For example, Make sure doorways between rooms where people like to congregate—like the living room and kitchen—are wide. Before placing the laundry room off the kitchen because it's a convenient way to arrange the plumbing, consider whether having one family member scrambling through the kitchen to do laundry while someone is cooking will be an issue.

Create a priority list.

Whether you're designing a 1,000 square foot ranch home or a 6,000 square foot mansion, you won't be able to have every single feature and accessory you want. To ensure the home you end up with does not disappoint, it's important to prioritize your features.

An easy way to do this is to sit down and make a list of absolutely everything you could want in your home, from the number of bedrooms to the shade of the hardwood. Then, go down the list and put a 1, 2, or 3 next to each item. Items numbered "1" are those you absolutely must have. Items numbered "2" are ones you could do without, but would really like. Items numbered "3" are ones you would prefer but don't have overly strong feelings about.

Designing a home can be a time-consuming and involved experience. Follow the tips above, and you have a greater chance of ending the process with a home you really enjoy. For more assistance, contact companies like Genuine Home Builders Inc.