The idea of building a house that grows with you is a concept that more and more young couples are embracing as they embark on their build. “Life Phases” is our term for it. Some pairs are fortunate enough to acquire property at a point when it’s just the two of them. I’ve even had some clients who bought property before they got married or lived together. The house remains a finite area. But clearly the spatial demands come with children and affluence and the assumption that those changes in circumstance would require more additional space in the house. The question for them becomes: Do you build the nicest house you’ll ever need, then ebb and flow within it, or do you keep adding on?
The children will grow up and, ordinarily, will flee the coop. The question then becomes, what do you do with the house? The idea is to right-size the house initially, then see that the interior partitions are adaptable to the different needs of your lifestyle. Also, some people will actually prefer, as they get older, to live on the first floor, as opposed to what are the stereotypical levels of a house, where the bedrooms are all up. So, do you act on that as a major decision point later on in life, then allot a certain amount of money to achieve that change when the time comes? Or do you anticipate that, in such a fashion, that the house is much more adaptable and flexible; and the costs are less because it’s been predesigned that that change would come about at some point in the future?
That’s where the thinking is generally going. I think we’re seeing more “aging in place,” which has now become the buzzword for this sort of universal design.
In our next installment of Life Phases housing, we’ll address valuable steps that cut time for costs in the initial stages, plus what not to relocate when making major changes.
At TJB Architects, we create solutions that not only meet your aspirations but also meet your budget.