Monthly Archives: September 2018

Home design part four. Design for your own circumstances and use.

We have briefly discussed resale value but there are many more considerations in home design. Is it to be a family home with several children or perhaps several generations? Is it to be a retirement home? Does it need to accommodate handicapped or family members with special needs? Do you need space for a home based business or office. Do you want to incorporate rental space for extra income? What about your pets? Does location issues such as isolation, climate, or crime levels require special design parameters?
Resale value is probably less important than the other considerations for most people. If you are located in a reasonably large market there are usually buyers available with needs similar to your own. Of course, you should be careful not to price yourself out of the market or be willing to take a loss on some special adaptations. The more unique a property is and the higher the price gets the smaller the market becomes and the longer it may take to effect a sale.
When designing with children in mind it is important to remember that children grow up and usually leave home in a reasonably finite time. In some cases such as farm families it is not possible to downsize by selling and repurchasing a more suitable property. It is wise to design children spaces for easy conversion to other uses. Examples are the ability to expand the kitchen, master bedroom or family room into unused bedrooms. It also may be possible to design so unused space can be converted to revenue producing space and provide extra retirement income.
Perhaps you are building a retirement home in which you wish to be able to live independently as long as possible. I have actually built two with retirement in mind. The first became a revenue property when we decided to move to a location closer to family and medical facilities.
For a retirement home it is wise to plan for the likelihood of future disabilities. The most important is that the home is small enough for easy care and maintenance. I will go further into building a retirement home in a later chapter.
If you have pets you will wish to provide a safe and comfortable environment. Fencing to provide a safe exercise area is likely the biggest expense you are likely to face.
Wheelchair and handicap convenience usually requires wider doors, a larger bathroom, ramps instead of steps or chair lifts on stairs and lower kitchen counters with work areas that a wheelchair will fit beneath. Of course a single level close to grade will be the most inexpensive solution for ease of access.
Location issues usually only includes access to services. You may have to provide your own water, sewer, electricity, etc. which can be quite costly.
I am going to make one last observation on design. The primary reason for building your own house is to keep cost as low as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to keep the building size to as small as is needed. Next is to follow the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid.) Nothing raises cost quite so fast as complicated building footprints and intricate roof lines.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter