Downsizing Home Plans

By Bud Dietrich

This design by architect Nir Pearlson is all about easy one-floor living. Plan 890-1

Floor Plans for the Next Chapters

The Boomers are retiring. With over 80 million members, the Baby Boom generation will be looking for a different kind of house that suits their retirement. These houses will likely be in warmer locales, will be less square footage and in communities geared for the empty nest / retiree life style. So what will these homes be like?
For starters, the size of the home will shrink. As the Boomers jettison stuff, weaning themselves from some of their accumulated furnishings and other material, they will find that a smaller house suits their needs just fine. And since these houses will likely be situated in warmer locales, generously sized outdoor living areas will be a must.

For example, Plan 890-1, shown above and in the lead image, provides a small, easily maintained home in only 800 square feet yet lives large due to the many porches that extend the interior space outdoors. 

Another plan type that we’ll see more of is the classic Florida Split Plan, as in Plan 481-5, shown below.

With a large group gathering area between owner and guest bedroom areas, resident Boomers can have their children and grandchildren visit for as long as they want without everyone being on top of each other.   A nice feature of this type of plan is the ability to close off the guest bedrooms from the rest of the house.  All it takes is a pocket door in the right location to give each, owner and guest, their own private area.

While we’re at it, consider making the hallways and doorways generously sized.  Retiring Boomers will certainly appreciate the efforts to make the house easy to get around in and easy to use.  So make sure there are features such as zero threshold showers, well placed and secure grab bars and easily accessed storage.

Plan 481-7, shown above, incorporates these types of features with one floor living, large doors to generous outdoor spaces as well as the split bedroom floor plan making it ideal for a retired Boomer.

For more on changing demographics and the rising market for smaller homes, click here.

Sat Feb 08 00:00:00 PST 2014