Today’s baby boomers are beginning to age, but this active group of society is making it a priority to remain in their own home. As they are retiring or thinking about retiring, a new custom home or lake home may be the dream they are ready to enjoy. In order to ensure that the home will continue to fit their needs in the future, it is important when building a custom home to plan accordingly.

Homeowners who plan on aging in place, remaining in their own homes as long as possible, should consider their future in the planning stage and ensure they’re incorporated into the design of the custom home. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) defines universal design as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.”

Plan for Future Needs

Often, people are building their dream home once they are empty nesters, in their 50’s and 60’s or even later. They have reached the place where they can comfortably build a custom lake home and want to enjoy their second half of life in that home. With forethought and planning with a team like Colby Construction, that can happen.

Things to consider: a first-floor master suite. By having the master bedroom on the first floor, you eliminate the need to climb stairs as you age. Other things to consider is a large, walk in shower that has a bench and will accommodate you in older years versus a bathtub combo shower with a tub to step over. Adding the laundry room to the master suite or next to it is great plan as well. 

Wide spacious hallways, bathrooms and rooms that can accommodate for a walker or wheelchair if they are needed someday will make being mobile easy. Guest bedrooms for visiting children and grandchildren can be on the housed on the second floor with a separate furnace so that part of the home can be “shut down” when it is not being used. 

Other things to consider: 

  • Ease of getting into the house from the garage. A stepless entry should be considered or at least an entrance that is level.
  • Reinforcement of walls in locations that railings and bars may need to be installed someday. 
  • Consider the topography—particularly if you are building a lake home. It is important to select a lot that is a flat yard to the lake versus a home sitting up on a hill that requires stairs to get to the lake.
  • Raised vanities and toilets for ease.

Don’t Sacrifice Luxury or Lifestyle

If you are building your last home, it should be your dream home.  Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to have the home of your dreams. In other words, a home with universal design can still be beautiful and modern too.

Even grab bars in the shower have become more aesthetic, from the chrome, institutional looking devices found in the handicapped stalls of public bathrooms to fixtures that match the décor of your home. It is possible to have a home that is functional and allows for you to age in place, while still being beautiful. 

If you prefer the view from a second story room and don’t want to sacrifice that, consider an elevator when designing the home, particularly if you have a lake home with a lower level walk out. Elevators can be added to the home and look simply like a closet door.  

Taking the time to consider the options to make your custom home age with you will keep you in your home well into your retirement years. The team at Colby Construction can work with you to create the perfect plan for your dream.