You’ve worked hard your entire life. Now, you finally get to enjoy the fruits of your labour without clocking in and out every day.
Nothing supports a lifestyle of leisure and relaxation more than purchasing a custom, prefab home. We’re willing to bet you’ve lived in some pretty stellar houses over the years, but for many, this is your first chance to design a home to your distinct tastes. It’s an exciting prospect, undoubtedly, really emphasizing the “golden” in golden years.
Now, people frequently tend to travel a lot during these years to make up for the lost time of the previous decades. And we fully support that wanderlust – there’s nothing wrong with spicing up your retirement by embarking on cross-continental adventures!
With that said, designing a home to meet your exact specifications and preferences is similar to having a vacation every day. You’ll always wake up in your version of paradise!
But these luxuries aren’t the only advantages of spending these precious years in a custom prefab home.
Yes – the extravagance of having a bespoke living space can never be overlooked. All the same, the functionality of these homes should speak to you, especially as you age, and really need to focus on your quality of life.
Aging In-Place Means Addressing Your Future Needs
Purchasing a custom prefab house tells us one thing about you – you’re excellent at planning for the future.
You’ve likely been saving up for a lifetime, including a meticulously composed financial portfolio, all in the name of one day purchasing your dream retirement home.
Once you start designing your custom prefab home, you need to apply that same forward-thinking and planning mentioned above.
Specifically, you must be mindful that this is your forever home. And while you’re quite young now, youth, and its associated mobility and durability, don’t last forever.
Thus, in designing your custom home, the prospect of aging comfortably and safely should be top of mind.
Why? Because you deserve the peace of mind and quality of life that comes with a home built for people with varying needs, preferences, and levels of mobility.
There’s no need to fear the realities of aging when you live in a custom prefab home. Quite the opposite, in fact.
You have complete control over every square inch of your personalized dwelling. Using that autonomy to address what you’ll need down the line right now will ensure you live out your golden years with style, grace, and the utmost contentment.
Below, we’ll delve into some suggestions to help age in place in your customized prefab home:
It Starts on the First Floor
In two-plus story homes, it’s wise to ensure your kitchen, living/family room, bathroom, and bedroom are all on the first floor.
Not only is this a highly functional suggestion for aging in place, but it’s also an increasingly common design feature. It wouldn’t be some abstract idea where your house looks like a Picasso painting, as over 40% of new homes have their primary suites on their main floor.
There’s a logical reason behind this design suggestion. After years of wear and tear on your back and knees, you shouldn’t put them under the duress of regularly climbing stairs.
On the subject of stairs, design your home to have one ground-level entrance. Typically, these entrances are placed in the garage. But you have the option to build your stairless doorway wherever you please in a custom prefab home.
Another common design feature of these homes is wider doorways and hallways and the utilization of open space in general. It makes it far easier to get around.
One last suggestion: you can forego the second floor altogether and turn your custom prefab home into a bungalow!
However, as this anecdote highlights, having a bungalow doesn’t guarantee seamless mobility if you make design mistakes such as not having a level entrance.
In the link provided above, there’s a story about two sisters who believed they didn’t need a level entrance because of how healthy and active they were when they bought the home. Then, down the line, as the two women had a harder time getting around, they had to build an unsightly ramp to their backdoor. Not an ideal situation and something that could’ve been avoided by planning ahead!
Analyze Your Surroundings
You really should be specific about the location of your prefab home. After all, the chances are you’ll want to socialize with your neighbours.
Unfortunately, as your mobility becomes more challenging, topsy-turvy terrains and aging-unfriendly topographies must be avoided.
Seek out neighbourhoods and developments that allow you to visit your friend down the street without getting in your car. Also, prioritize wide sidewalks that are conducive to walking.
Furthermore, remember there’s a chance you eventually won’t want to drive anymore in the future. So, see that you have seamless access to public transit!
Remember Not to Sacrifice the Luxury You Deserve
You might need to prioritize function for the sake of comfortable living as you age. But that doesn’t mean you need to do so at the cost of life’s luxuries.
Again, we’ll reiterate – you’ve worked and saved for your entire life. The last home you buy should be as gorgeous and lavish as you wish.
Remember, wherever there’s functionality, form is nearby. Especially when you work with excellent designers and builders.
For instance, grab bars in showers are no longer the bland, clunky additions you see in public handicap bathrooms. Nowadays, there are plenty of options that match–and even enhance–your home’s overall aesthetic.
And sure, you’ll have your anti-skid bathtubs, easy-to-open lever door handles, rocker-style electrical switches and outlets installed higher off the floor. Yet that doesn’t disqualify you from enjoying gorgeous granite countertops, a gourmet kitchen, or even a pool or tennis courts. Practicality can blend seamlessly with elegance.
Here’s a link to our Barrier-Free options with a comprehensive list of customizations for aging in place; included are suggestions for:
- Doors and windows
- Grab bars
- And more!
Want to learn more about aging in place in a custom prefab home? Contact one of our Design Centres to speak with a friendly design expert. We look forward to speaking with you!