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Designing your dream home is an exciting and challenging experience, and most people who put the effort and time into designing the perfect home will want to live there for the rest of their lives. One of the most important things about designing a home to last into old age (a "forever home") is to make sure that everything is as accessible as possible. Ideally, this means that all the main living and sleeping spaces are accessible on one floor.
Here's what else to consider as you design a log home (or adapt a stock log cabin plan) to be suitable for retirement:
Open Floor PlanOpen floor plans make for much easier access. With no tight passageways or narrow doorways, having a spacious and open layout will make life easier. Ensure that rooms are large enough to accommodate all the furniture you need, as well as plenty of space to move things around as you reach retirement age should you need more space to be fully mobile.
First Floor Living
If your dream forever home calls for more than one story, there is no reason that you can’t optimize a multi-level floor plan. You’ll just need to ensure that it is possible to live solely on the first floor if the time comes that you’re no longer mobile enough to use the stairs. You can achieve this by planning the master bedroom on the first floor. This is becoming more and more popular in many floor plans designed for families. Even if you don’t want a master bedroom on the first floor at the time that you design your home, make sure that there is ample space to eventually have one by repurposing existing spaces.
If you’ve designed a family home which will see you into the golden years, then you’ll likely already have plenty of space for visitors to come and stay with you. If you’re designing your retirement home later on in life, as tempting as it is to opt for a petite, one-bedroom ranch, it might be a better idea to allow for an extra bedroom for a guest or family in case you need extra support. This could either be on a separate level, such as in the loft space of a one-and-half-story log home, or perhaps you might even consider a two-story home, with a self-contained living area upstairs (or in a daylight basement!).
Bathroom and Kitchen
When you’re designing the floor plan, make sure that you allow plenty of space to move around freely, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. These rooms can sometimes be quite restrictive, so opt for a slightly larger space. Think about installing some multi-level worktops and ensuring that cupboards and drawers are all within reach should you or a loved one require a wheelchair. Following a similar line of thought for the bathroom–consider adding a stylish fold down bench to the shower/bath and rails next to the toilet and bath.
Are You Ready to Design Your Retirement Log Home?Retirement homes provide the ultimate opportunity for design that's equally smart AND stylish. Whether you want to custom-design your own retirement home from scratch or plan on adapting an existing floor plan, the options are endless!
See also: How to Build a Log Home to Age in Place
Author Bio: David Woods created the website Log Cabin Hub to share his knowledge about building log homes with as many people as possible. He is a carpenter, author and builder who has helped thousands of people to build their own homes, many of them for retirement!