Design Forever Home

Aging In Place

If you ask someone who is ready to build a new home, they will often tell you that “This is the last home I will ever build. They will have to bury me in the back yard.” If you’re building a forever home, it’s always a good idea to consider designing your home for Aging- In-Place.

Good Aging-In-Place considerations will include an elevator (or shaft), curbless showers, wider doorways, lever door handles, and an extra emphasis on lighting to name a few. This will allow you to live in the home as long as you want or provide better resale-ability should you choose to sell your home in the future.

You also will want to consider your Indoor Air Quality. An often overlooked aspect of homebuilding that is becoming more important as homes are built tighter (read more here). If you’re building a forever home, a Wellness-Within-Your-Walls certification is a good way to ensure healthy indoor air. Check out the Ready Residence, which is soon to be the first WWYW certified home in N.C.

The Only Constant

Even if it is the last home you will ever build, you should be prepared for plans to change. Recent surveys show that most people live in their home an average of five years, and you’re probably not much different. You may be thinking, but this really is going to be my last home. And if it is, that’s great. But you may want to consider the reality of averages.

A client of ours (who we’ll call Susan) took more than a year to design her new home for her family, only to discover she was way over budget. She also realized that by the time she completed her home construction, all but one of her five children would be away at college, and she had designed bedrooms for each of them! Reality finally dawned on her—within a few short years, she and her husband would be empty-nesters. Designing her home for a family of seven thinking this would be her home for the rest of her life didn’t fit the reality of Susan’s imminent transition to a home for two.


When designing your custom home, first design for your immediate needs. Second, take into account what market conditions will allow for your particular home design. Third, give strong consideration to how long you may live in your home. Susan may shift gears and design a home that’s perfect for her family’s needs for the next five to seven years, with a plan to downsize at that time. With this more realistic outlook, she may give additional consideration to the resale value of her choices.
Don’t make the mistake of over-designing a home that may become obsolete for your family within a short period of time.

Bottom Line

Be realistic about your short-term and long-term needs and how long you will live in your new home, then design accordingly.

Building A Quality Custom Home

Want to know more? This book by Sean Sullivan is full of helpful information in easy-to-read chapters like this blog post.

It is a step-by-step guide to the “must-know” issues of building your dream home. Discover the custom-home construction secrets that could save you headaches, heartaches, and thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars.

Building A Custom Home