Every property decision you have made up until now has been based around the children, catchment area of schools, jobs and commuting. Have you thought about the day that the children have fled the nest and work is a distant memory?

The priorities that you did have are now in flux. You might be more concerned about energy efficiency and running costs, worries about maintaining a property, or living in your own home for as long as possible.

This could be an exciting new adventure – your chance to design and build your own home for your retirement. Here are a few points to consider;


A home for your later years is likely to result in a downsize of some form. You may need space to accommodate weekend visits from the family and grandchildren, buts its likely that the home will be frequented by two people for the majority of the time. Its therefore critical that space is designed to be flexible and multi purpose.

As you approach older age then you may wish to consider ground floor bedrooms and wet rooms, or certainly to have the flexibility to adapt rooms in the future.

Running Costs and Maintenance

If you are designing this as your forever home then think about the long term. Investing in a well designed and good specification of house will assist.  Keep running costs low by improving insulation and air-tightness. Think about high performance windows, renewable energy sources, low energy electrical and lighting systems, and low maintenance materials.

How much will it cost me to build?

When embanking upon a project in your retirement then your biggest concern is likely to be build costs and finance.  It is unlikely that lending will be available at competitive rates in retirement so you will need cost certainty to mitigate any risks. Its therefore important that you look for a team with the right experience and proven track record.

Future Proofing

Your main aim of such an investment is to allow you to live in your new home for as long as possible. Therefore, give careful consideration to Flexibility, Accessibility, home automation and control, and the provision for hoists and lifts.

The most important thing to stress is that homes for retirees can still be fabulous homes and they don’t have to look like retirement villages. It just needs careful thought, consideration, design and planning from the outset.

Townscape Architects of Harrogate and York have deigned and delivered numerous homes for retirees, further details can be found on the case study by clicking this link.