Turner & Son Homes Blog

    House plans: Design for flexibility because your life will change

    multi-generational family

    You're building your "forever home," but how do you design it so it fits your life today and whatever your life will look like in 20 years?

    We recently worked with a couple with two teenagers. They're building their forever home on the ideal piece of ground, and they're looking forward to growing old there. The best feature of the land will be the view out the back windows of the house.

    They want their kids to enjoy that view while living their the next four to six years, and then they want to continue to enjoy that view themselves. Considering their design requirements and their budget, they were struggling with how to design the upstairs with that flexibility in mind. They wanted bedrooms and a game room with a view that could later be a space for mom, dad, and their friends, but there wasn't enough room upstairs to make that happen.

    After much discussion, head scratching, and sketching out ideas, we decided the kids' view from their bedrooms wasn't really the most important thing. After all, they'll be sleeping in those rooms, and most of their daytime activity will happen in the game room. They elected to move the bedrooms to the side and put the game room in the back so it would have the view.

    By doing that, we were even able to put in a small balcony. Now they can enjoy the awesome view from the game room windows or head out on the deck and enjoy the view from outside with a high vantage point.

    By thinking through both the current and future uses of the house and the rooms, this family was able to design a forever home that will be fantastic now and flexible enough to be fantastic well into the future as their family and lifestyle changes.

    There are many different ways a family can change over time. Here are a few other things to consider depending on your situation as you start designing your dream home.

    Aging in place

    If you're planning to live in your home for a long time or there's a possibility of aging parents living with you, it's important to think about accessibility. Should you make the doors wider to accommodate a walker or wheelchair? Do you need to design a second living space that can easily convert to guest quarters later? Or perhaps you need guest quarters now that can transition to living space later? That impacts decisions about the location of bathrooms, the width of doors, and where you put walls.

    Two stories with a purpose

    If you plan to stay in the house after the kids are gone, you might think about designing a two-story home with a dual purpose. Put all the kids' bedrooms upstairs and keep the downstairs relatively small. That lets you get the most square footage for the dollar, plus you can "shut down" the upstairs (half the house) after the kids are gone to save money on utilities.

    When you're building a forever home, there are lots of aspects of your future life to consider that you can incorporate into a flexible house plan. Your builder can help you think through those things and how to accommodate them with a flexible house plan that fits your budget. It will take some patience and creativity, but it will be worth it in the end.

    Tim Turner

    Written by Tim Turner

    A home builder for 18 years, Tim is the "son" in Turner & Son Homes. He is the CEO of the company and partners with his dad, Ben, who has been building since 1964.

    Get the Guide

    Recent News

    Search our Blog

    Get the Guide