How Home Construction Features Impact the Family Life Cycle

Instructor: David Juliao

David has a bachelor's degree in architecture, has done research in architecture, arts and design and has worked in the field for several years.

In this lesson, discover the impact of some home construction features on the family life cycle. Learn about some important elements in a house and how they can facilitate the activities of the occupants during different stages of life.

The Family Life Cycle

If you just moved out of your parents' place, it is unlikely that you'll want to live alone in a 4-bedroom suburban house, or if you are a senior, you probably won't enjoy a loft with a ladder you'll have to climb to go to bed. Both are probably good places to live in, but might not be the ideal solution at some stages of life.

The family life cycle consists of the several stages of development that the members of a family go through. The phase of the unattached adult comes before having a family of his/her own. Then, when two single adults start living together as a couple, they establish a family and enter the stage of the young couple. Eventually, they might have, or adopt children, and will go through all the different stages of parenting. As years go by, the children will grow and become adults, starting their own lives and families. At this point, the couple is usually entering the phase of retired adults.

Having kids changes the life of a family
Parenting

Home Construction Features

Different elements and design considerations can be considered as home construction features. If a house is planned and built carefully, it can be comfortable, functional and safe. Most people spend many years in the same residence, so it is important that houses are accessible and can be used by someone with disabilities. Also, a house should be adaptable so with only minor changes it can fit the changing needs of the occupants during their lifetime.

Some important home construction features are:

  • Traffic patterns, which are the way people usually move inside the house.
  • Room arrangement is how rooms are organized and furniture is placed. It is not only about aesthetics, but also about functionality and optimizing the use of the space.
  • Storage facilities are important for keeping a house organized.
  • Kitchen work areas with enough counter surface for cooking and placing items are both functional and enjoyable.
  • Bathroom safety involves avoidance of slippery floors, safety glass, and reinforced walls for installing safety bars.

Traffic Patterns inside a Home
Traffic Patterns

Home Construction Features and the Family Life Cycle

Not everybody will move at each stage of life, but many people start out living alone, meet someone, move in together, buy a house and eventually retire. During their lifetime, most people will buy only one house, so it is important to find a place that will be suitable for the family, and won't demand major changes or renovations as time goes by.

The Bachelor's Place

Single adults are usually starting a career and looking for affordable options. Many rent small places close to where they work or share a bigger place with friends. At this point, most don't need much space, and social activities usually take place outside the house. Because space is often limited, an efficient room arrangement is important, so that there are no obstacles along the main traffic patterns.

Young Couple's Home

Moving in together is usually a big goal for young couples, and may mean the beginning of a lifetime together. Many couples decide to rent a place and save money for buying a bigger house after a few years, especially if they plan to have kids. The home of a young couple is usually bigger than a bachelor's place; two-bedroom homes are popular because one room can be used as a home office, and easily adapted for a baby.

The Family House

Buying a house is a major decision that many families make when they are in the parenting stages. It is important that the house is suitable for raising kids and spending many years there, and different construction features should be taken into consideration when making this decision.

Suburban houses are a common choice for many families
House

Traffic patterns are important, especially if there are small children. Moving around without obstacles reduces the risk of accidents. An efficient room arrangement maximizes comfort, and open spaces allow parents to keep an eye on the kids. An example of this would be an open kitchen with a view to the family room.

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