When building a custom home, many decisions and family habits must be taken into consideration when planning your home’s functional living space. A family with active pre-teens and teenagers requires a completely different punch list of “must haves.” When building a custom home, here are some design and building tips to consider to make your new home comfortable for you and the revolving door of hungry teens.
Always consider the location when selecting the site for your new custom home. Whether your children are involved with sporting events, extra curricular activities, or just like hanging out with friends, teens require a lot of extra transportation. There are practices and events and school meetings and sleep overs… the list goes on and on. The last thing you want is a home you love in a place you regret building. Choose a location to build close to where your child’s activities are to save on continual driving time and inconvenient trips back and forth.
Teenagers by definition just expand. They bring more friends to visit, their clothing multiplies, dirty clothing seems never ending, and the equipment and accessories they tote around just gets bigger and bulkier. Here are some spaces to plan for in your new custom home to accommodate the ever growing stuff teenagers acquire.
- Mud Room. Adding a mud room is important when you have teenagers trudging in from a muddy soccer game, skateboarding, or hours of girl time at the mall. Wet clothes, muddy shoes, and over-sized backpacks tend to get dropped just inside the door. Having a mud room can give you an added space to organize and partially hide some of the “stuff” that drags in after the activities end.
- Open Kitchen Plan. When it comes to teenagers, friends are always in tow. And when a group of teens hang out, it’s usually in the kitchen. Having an open floor plan allows teens to socialize with the family while enjoying a meal or a late night snack without dragging it back to their room or your new sectional.
- Pantry. Accommodating ravaging teenagers usually requires a bulky bag of snacks and special treats, giant cereal boxes, and multiple bags of chips and munchies. With a collection of giant-sized food, nothing is worse than a crammed pantry with bags stacked ceiling high and falling out every time you open the door. Adding pantry space will allow those mega-sized boxes to have a properly sized home and will add organization to your daily routine.
- Hang-out Space. When planning your custom home, it is important for teens to have a place of their own to land. These are the days of movie watching, video games, and music playing. If your budget allows, planning an extra hang out space for kids to house their games, movies, large toys and music equipment, allows your main living space availability for other guests and a greater likelihood of orderliness.
- Laundry. Sports, outdoors, change of clothes, uniforms… the clothes just multiply when you have teens. Do yourself a favor and build a laundry room with some space. Having a sink for soaking is helpful, as is an area to iron and hang clothes that are not dryer friendly.
Choose Sturdy Building Materials
With busy and bulky teenagers around, it’s best to choose building materials and features that will hold up under a lot of wear and tear. Here are some areas where you might want to consider some more durable finishes.
- Walls. The walls in a teenager’s space often become the target of muddy cleats, posters, and indoor basketball goals. There’s no way around it, walls take a beating when you have teenagers. Wipeable paint is a must (eggshell, satin or semigloss) and cleans up easily with a wet sponge. For those areas that get an extra measure of high traffic and abuse, like under the breakfast bar, try adding some beadboard and painting it with semigloss paint.
- Floors. Busy teenagers are coming and going all the time. Choose flooring that easily wipes up with a damp mop. Tile, wood, laminate and linoleum work well. If you select carpeting for those cozier rooms, choose a medium to dark tone and be sure to request stain-protective finish on your new carpet. Nylon and wool-nylon blends feel soft, resist stains, and wear well.
Find Ways to Incorporate Added Storage. Clutter is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean it has to take over your home. When designing your custom home, always consider ways to add storage to those out-of-the way nooks and hidden passage ways. Turn a closet into a toy bin by simply adding a 1×12-inch board just inside the door to create a lip to keep excessive items inside. Consider adding built-in flip up storage window seats underneath a focal window. Also remember to incorporate extra hooks, baskets and storage areas in those closets and storage closets so that teens can put their own things away.
With some creative planning, your custom home builder can help your family add many new and innovative functional design features to your home that will help keep your family organized and prepared for many more years of growth… and dirty socks.