Retirement isn’t exactly around the corner!

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Building a home for retirement isn’t just about the bells and whistles. Clients want an energy-efficient, accessible home that’s easy to maintain.

In this article: Retiring in style: 3 custom homes that redefine retirement living by Susan Bady, Contributing Editor, we find that people who build one-of-a-kind custom homes for retirement are more practical than you might think.

They want to hand down a durable, efficient home to their children and grandchildren. They’re also planning for the day when their mobility will decrease and “boomerang” kids might move back in, or they’ll have to care for an aging parent or relative in their home.

Jim Blansfield of Blansfield Builders, Danbury, Conn., says elevators are becoming common. While an elevator is a costly option, clients recognize that it will pencil out over the long term, says Rick Gross of Estes Builders, Sequim, Wash.

Blansfield’s clients want high-end finishes in their kitchens and baths, reminiscent of a fine hotel. Radiant in-floor heat is popular, and demand is increasing for smart-home technology that integrates the home’s HVAC, security, lighting, and entertainment systems into a touch-screen panel that communicates with the client’s cell phone.

Luxury retirement-home buyers won’t compromise when it comes to outdoor living, Blansfield says. Multiple outdoor spaces for dining, entertaining, and relaxation are a must. Clients also prefer a large, open family room and kitchen with an island eating bar.

Since these clients are planning for the future, universal design is important. So is sustainability, with a focus on energy savings. “They want the home to be as energy-efficient as it can be,” says Micky Maness of Coachman Homes, Wimberley, Texas. Maness typically incorporates features like rainwater collection systems, on-demand water heaters, and long roof overhangs to shade windows and walls from intense sunlight.

According to there are 8 Requirements for Building a Retirement Home:

1. Multiple outdoor living spaces

2. Low-maintenance exterior

3. Energy efficiency

4. Universal design

5. Elevator in multi-story homes

6. Private guest quarters

7. Extra bedroom(s) for boomerang kids and/or in-laws

8. Large, open family room/kitchen with island eating bar

Read more about these trends as featured in three custom retirement homes on

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