Downsize Design – Lifetime Homes
Perhaps you have arrived at that delightful time of life when you have fulfilled your social responsibilities, the kids have left home and you don’t need to work as hard anymore.
So your large family house and garden are no longer needed and you are thinking of downsizing, but how do you go about it? Most of us want our house to help maintain our lifestyle as we grow older because we are likely to spend more time in our homes, so we will need more space and light, comfort and convenience to live our lives to the full as we grow older.
There are precious few houses designed for a whole lifetime, most being targeted for families, so you could think about extending an existing home to suit your needs, or starting from scratch and building a new house. Many of our clients do just that allowing them to create a living environment without the compromises associated with bringing up a young family.
Here are few ideas that you might find useful:
- Location: A quiet rural idyll may sound attractive, but an attractive village or town location can offer greater choice and convenience for the shops and amenities we need and more opportunities for a full social life. You may also be able to reduce the need for a car and perhaps be closer to your family.
- Design and Style: You probably have a vision of your perfect home, so be bold and pursue that free from the constraints you previously had
- Bringing the Outside In: Easy access to a well designed garden area can extend your enjoyment of the seasons and allow you to take advantage of those often fleeting moments of good weather. Garden design can create interlinked attractive outdoor spaces with easy access, seating areas and low maintenance planting. Take a look at our Staycation Home
- Create a lifetime home: Plan for the discreet addition of assistive technology in the future, in case you need help as you grow older
- Think About a Lift: In normal 2 storey houses this is not really necessary, but a lift could open up the potential for living in a 3/4 storey townhouse or a house built on a hillside where the thought of all those stairs would normally be off putting
- Flexible Spaces: Most of the time there may be only two of you, but when the family arrives your home needs to be like a Tardis that opens up and finds space for everyone. So rooms need to be able to be used in multiple ways, able to be combined or sub-divided as needed
- Low energy: Future energy costs will continue to increase for the foreseeable future and so reducing you energy consumption makes good sense. The top priority should always be insulation to reduce space heating costs, coupled with efficient control of heating and hot water systems. Low energy lighting and efficient appliances also help a lot. Some renewable energy systems like solar panels are worth considering. You might like to take a look at some of our ideas for saving energy
- Low maintenance: Careful design and choice of materials can significantly reduce the need for maintenance which not only saves money but also reduces the time and effort required to get maintenance jobs done properly
- Security: You need to be confident about being safe in your home, but also your home needs to be secure whilst you are away on those extended holidays you always promised yourself
If you would like some initial advice on downsize design, please feel free to contact us by email or phone. We will be happy to chat for a while without any obligation