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To design and to downsize

To design and to downsize

Jessica Attrill, BA (Hons) Assoc CIAT, Architectural Technician from our Exeter office, looks at the benefits of downsizing your home and important things to consider when doing so. 

A major shift is taking place in the way that we perceive the ‘older age’. As the UK approaches the status of a ‘super aged’ society and healthy life expectancy continues to rise – the term ‘older person’ has become inadequate, and the traditional view of people wanting to remain in their family home has declined.

With the average weekly cost of residential care homes in the UK rising by 19% from 2021-22 to 2022-23, according to analysis of data from market researchers Laing Buisson, people are starting to think of a plan B.

Recent survey data indicates that around half of households over 65 years old have shown interest in ‘downsizing’ as future generations are often less tied to one particular place and decide to downsize once their needs and aspirations change.

What are the benefits of downsizing a home?

- Declutter

- Mover closer to family and amities

- Release equity

- Proximity to essential services

- Reduce home running costs

- Increase in spending ability

Converting an outbuilding or structure offers a cost-effective, versatile, and sustainable housing solution that promotes a simplified lifestyle and financial freedom, with the opportunity to be creative at the same time. Design aspects are important when downsizing in order to create a space that has a welcoming, sociable feel. Considering the quality of natural light, the aspect and different views at different times of the day can allow occupants to enjoy dual aspect living spaces.

Design aspects to consider when downsizing a home:

- Individual desires and needs

- Open designs

- Quality materials

- Natural light allowance and quality of light

- Sustainable, technical specifications

It would be wise to seek initial advice to ensure the desired building has structural integrity and suitable planning routes to convert into a dwelling. 

If you are thinking of downsizing or seeking advice on conversions, please contact our Planning and Design Team to discuss options for a potential project.
Phone: 01392 439046