A home needs to fulfill many different functions, particularly if it is used as a family home for a long time. Often, people end up having to move from a beloved home because it no longer meets their needs, and making the necessary changes would be too costly. The best way to prevent this is to incorporate flexibility into the design of the home from the very beginning. From the floor plans, wiring, and electricity to the furniture you buy, you should consider how life may change in the future and how the home could be adapted to suit those changes. Here are five tips to help you ensure the design of your home is as flexible as possible.
Extensions And Conversions
Designing a home with dual-purpose rooms is a great way to ensure you have the option to expand or adapt in the future. For example, you could design a large bedroom so that it is large enough to allow room for a hallway or could be split into two rooms if required. You may want to convert an attic into a bedroom, living area, or bathroom later, so it is worth considering the height of the roof and strength of the floor. A basement could also provide valuable space for a growing family, storage, or a workshop. If this is a possibility, you should ensure walls and floors are protected from moisture and that there is a way for the basement to be heated.
Electricity And Plumbing
Wiring for electricity and plumbing can be one of the more complex challenges when expanding or converting rooms in your home. If you decide that you want to add a bathroom or a shower room to a bedroom, trying to add pipework and water supply can be challenging to do retroactively. If there is a chance that a room may be used for a different purpose in the future, consider including electrical lines and pipes in the walls. You do not have to connect them, but having them in place will make conversions much easier and cheaper.
Buying furniture for your home can be a significant investment, so it makes sense to choose high-quality pieces that will continue to work for your lifestyle on a long-term basis. For example, sectional sofas are fashionable now as they can be separated into sections to suit different spaces in the home. Dining tables that fold away or can be made smaller/larger with the addition or removal of sections can also help you keep space as flexible as possible.
Designing For Retirement And Old Age
If you are planning to live in a home in your golden years or might be inviting elderly relatives to live with you, it is wise to consider that in your home design. This could mean ensuring that you include a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and laundry facilities located on the ground floor. Alternatively, you could reinforce stairways so that they can accommodate a lift. Other points to consider include strong walls that will support safety handles, wide access doors, and easy-access bathrooms.
Keep Detailed Records Of Changes And Design Features
Remember to keep detailed records and diagrams of changes you make during a conversion or building project, for example, where the electrical lines, plumbing, and structural features are located. This will not only help you in future DIY projects but will also help any prospective owners or contractors working on the home.