If you are one of those people who is lucky enough to have found the home that you want to live in forever, you might find that, while it is absolutely perfect for your needs right now, it might need some futureproofing to allow you to live in it right into your old age. These kinds of adjustments don’t need to be hugely expensive or obvious although there are some structural changes that you could make which will both future proof your home and add to the overall value. Here are five suggestions of things that you can do to your forever home to make it truly future proof.
Give Yourself a Lift
Let’s be honest, stairlifts aren’t the most attractive fixture in a property and while strides have been made to modernise them, they’re still a little bit of an eyesore. Something that you may not have considered is having an actual lift for the home installed in place of your stairs. As well as ensuring that you will always be able to reach all floors of your house, regardless of your mobility, some lifts actually save space because the footprint is smaller than that of a full staircase, so you may open out the lower floors of your house.
Having a solar array installed at your home has many advantages. As well as futureproofing your house and helping you to move away from using fossil fuels to light and heat your home, some solar arrays collect so much energy from the sunlight that you end up with an excess which you can actually sell back to your electricity company, giving you a great return on your investment. Solar and other alternative energy sources are definitely the way forward, with many new builds being erected with solar panels as standard so getting yours installed now will set you up for the future.
Clever wireless systems can improve how you control and interact with your home – apps for tablets and mobiles allow you to remotely manage heating and lighting programmes at the touch of a button, for example. But you should still back this up with good, simple design for elements such as the location of light switches. However, modern foil-backed insulations can interrupt wireless signals, so don’t exclude the idea of hard-wiring your home.
Create Flexible Spaces
What works for you now may not necessarily suit your family 10 years down the line, so look to make the layout adaptable if futureproofing is a priority. Even if you prefer segregated spaces over an open plan, aim for a building with as few load-bearing internal walls as possible and instead use lightweight partitions to divide off individual rooms. This way, it will be relatively non-invasive and cost-effective to reconfigure the room arrangements should the need arise.
Sockets are an important consideration, given how much we use technology in our homes. Think about where you need them, especially for spaces that may be multi-use such as counters that may be used for cooking and as an office space. Ideally there should be high, mid and lower-level sockets that will meet the needs and be accessible to everyone living in the home.