Future-proofing your home is one of the most worthwhile things that you can do. It saves time, stress and money over the coming years and makes sure you can make the most out of your home, even as your life changes as you enter into retirement and beyond. At lapd Architects we work with many clients who want to do work to their home for today, making it more liveable in the moment, whilst also designing and preparing for what the future may bring. In this article we look at some of the main things to think about when getting work done on your home to provide for your present as well as your future.
1. How to prepare for changing mobility in design
One of the main challenges as we grow older in our homes is managing to still do everyday tasks as our levels of mobility change. We always think in terms of ‘just in case’: doorways that are approximately 1m wide to allow for wheelchair access, putting in downstairs bathrooms and building low tread staircases are all subtle ways that you can change your home to make it suitable for you or your family as they grow older. Even thinking about domestic lifts is a useful idea – leaving a 1m square cupboard somewhere that could later be used to put in a lift.
2. One space with multiple purposes
The family unit is ever-changing. Children grow up, different members of the family join to live with one another, children leave home. It’s difficult to know exactly what the future might hold. That is why it is important to have flexible spaces in your home. When we work with our clients we always think how certain spaces in their property could change over the years to accommodate different needs. Think of certain spaces not just right now, but in the future. Rooms can transform from a nursery, to a hangout space for teenagers, to a study and then to a downstairs bedroom.
3. Think carefully about open plan living
Open plan living is great, and many of our clients here at lapd Architects want this style of living. One thing we would say, however, is to always have in the back of your mind how you might segment the space in the future. When it comes to living well in your home, privacy and separation can be as powerful a design tool as creating a modern flowing space. Think about how areas can be independent from one another as well as how they can be stylish and integrated.
4. Return on Investment and Possibility of Resale
Finally, we always make the point that no matter how much you plan, sometimes, for any number of reasons, you might still have to move. Jobs come and go and family geography can change relatively quickly. With this in mind, it is always good to think about your return on investment, making sure you aren’t investing money beyond what the top market value for that property might be. Certain decisions might make complete sense for you but not much sense for other people on the housing market when you look to sell your home. Having said this, don’t forget that some investments are made for something more than money – they are made for quality of life. If spending that extra bit of money means that your life is drastically improved for the next 10-20 years, then it is worth thinking about. At lapd Architects we work to make sure the schemes we design fit within your budget plan and we talk with you about how they affect your property’s attractiveness on the market for the future.
If you would like to talk to us about how design can transform your home for you now and in the future, then do not hesitate to get in touch to book your free initial consultation. We would love to talk with you about how we can help to design around you and your needs.