Most people realize that not all homes are created equal. Some are starter homes, just meant to get your foot on the real estate ladder. Some are lock-up-and-go units, meant to be used by young jet setters and downsizing seniors who want a simple, no-fuss, low-maintenance lifestyle. Some, however, are forever homes — the kind of home where you can picture yourself raising a family, entertaining grandkids, and growing old.
But what is a forever home? A forever home is, put simply, a dream house. Oftentimes, a forever home is not just something you find; it’s something you have to create (with the help of your builder) by customizing your home design to match your current and future needs. In this way, you define your own forever home meaning for yourself!
Whether you’re identifying features to include in a new custom home or as additions and renovations to your existing home, we’ve got a few great ideas on how to design your own forever home to help you get started.
1. Consider Current and Future Needs
When you’re designing a new home (or planning a major remodel or additions), think about your needs now, in 10 years, 20 years, and so on. Ask yourself, what does my forever home include?
The additional bedrooms you’re considering might be necessary now, but what about in a few years? Can they be converted to an in-law suite? A home office? A rental apartment?
Also, think about features like hallways and stairs. Wider spaces are great for strollers and herds of kids, and they’re also easier for older people. Avoiding changes in levels (no sunken living rooms, please!) is another great idea if you plan to grow old in your home.
2. Budget Accordingly
If you’re only going to be in your home for a few years, it doesn’t make sense to break the bank on design or upgrades. If you’re going to be in your home for 30 or 40 years, however, you’re better off spending a little more to get exactly what you want. Make sure you know where you stand and choose upgrades that you’ll get your money’s worth out of over the years.
3. Create a Functional, Forever Floorplan
Your floor plan has an enormous impact on the functionality of your home. You should spend a fair amount of time chatting with your builder about your lifestyle and what type of floor plan might be most conducive to your daily life. If you love spaces that flow together and want to increase your usable space, a modern open floor plan is likely the best fit for you. Closed floor plans, on the other hand, are ideal for separation and allow you to give each room a designated purpose. No matter what type of floor plan you decide to go with, add or remove walls to expand accordingly.
4. Make Your Main Floor a Livable Space
When you’re designing a forever home where you can age in place, make sure that you add a full bathroom and a room that can be a bedroom on the main floor. Navigating stairs is one of the most difficult and risky tasks for older people, and having a livable space on the main floor is also helpful if you or someone in your family has surgery or another temporary mobility issue.
5. Choose Easy-to-Use Fixtures and Hardware
While it’s likely that you might change out a few things over the years you’re in your home, certain fixtures and hardware are easier to use at all ages and stages. For instance, lever-type door handles are easier to use for kids, when you’re carrying grocery bags, and when you get older. Likewise, paddle-style faucet handles can be more practical than round styles. Choose D-shaped door and drawer handles, and opt for a walk-in shower in at least one bathroom, rather than a shower and tub combination.
6. Choose Classic Over Trendy
Remember grandma’s house, with the “authentic” ‘60s décor? Too much orange, brown, and wood paneling, right? That’s exactly what you don’t want for your home, and that’s why – no matter what you choose in terms of long-term functionality for design – you want to choose classic décor and design options.
Classic interiors often have neutral walls that don’t overpower the space and will go well with any decor changes you may make in the future. You’ll want to opt for durable materials, such as hardwood or stone, that last. And you should spring for high-quality furniture as well as a couple of high-end features such as heated floors, a walk-in closet, or a fireplace, that add to your quality of life.
7. Go Modern Where It Counts
Going for a classic design style doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate modern features like smart technology. In fact, doing so can increase functionality, comfort, and luxury to create a simple modern dream house.
It can be tempting to get all the must-have new home features but don’t get ahead of yourself. Having loads of technology can make things complicated and push you over your budget. We recommend investing in high-end smart appliances that improve the efficiency or value of your home. Consider an energy-saving smart thermostat that learns your schedule or a smart home security system to keep your forever home safe and monitored at all times.
Forever Homes in Connecticut
Remember, it’s less about finding and more about creating when it comes to your forever home. Of all the general contractors in Middletown, CT, you need someone who can translate your ideas into action and, more importantly, into superior results. You need a forever home builder; that’s exactly what Sunwood Builders is. Hear our story and why we might be the right fit for your forever home.