Today’s custom homebuyers want designs and amenities that serve all family members

Demographic trends should lead builders to rethink the way they design custom homes. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau projects the over-65 population growing from 47 million in 2015 to 71 million by 2030.  In a 2016 Home Advisor survey, respondents over age 55 said they wanted to stay at home for as long as possible. 

“We’re getting more requests for homes that accommodate multiple generations,” says Tim Winter of Paradigm Building Group, a design/build firm in Fairfax, Va. “A lot of clients are asking for a first-floor en-suite bedroom for aging parents.” If the parents won’t be moving in just yet, the room can be configured as a study or guest room. 

If parents and their grown children prefer a bit more separation but the lot won’t accommodate a first-floor elder suite, consider an elevator. Winter is getting more requests from them. “I’m building a project that includes a basement rental with a kitchenette the clients will use as a suite for their parents in the future,” he says. It has an elevator leading to the first floor. Elevators increase project budgets, but are increasing in popularity with older family members who want privacy and independence.

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