6 Tips for Building a House When You Have Young Kids

Photography by Lisa Russman

Your home is where your family will create lasting memories, including the everyday moments your children will cherish for the rest of their lives. Advice on building a new home is full of tips about budgets, timelines, and management, but what are some of the things to consider when designing a house for your new, growing family? What works for your young ones now may not be the best choice in a few years, when teenagers are ruling the roost. Designing your home with a few basic principles in mind can ensure your home continues to meet your needs for many years. Here are six tips for building a house for anyone considering designing a new home for a growing family.

1. Focus on Staying Connected
We are all juggling many responsibilities all at once, and this is also true when we are at home. Focus on open-concept spaces that help you keep an eye on your kids while preparing meals, allow the whole family to use a space for different needs, and provides space for everyone to cohabitate comfortably. Open-concept is a design principle that is here to stay because it allows you to create flexible spaces that can shift over the years, as your needs change.

2. Remember Privacy and Security
Keeping your family safe and protecting your privacy from others is an essential function of home design. Can you see your kids playing outside while you are inside working or doing chores? How far into your home can someone see when you open the front door? How quickly could you reach young ones in the middle of a late-night emergency? Creating paths, sightlines, and access points for safety are vital with little ones, but as they get bigger, being able to monitor their comings and goings will also be necessary.

3. Make Every Inch Count
Smart designs make use of every square foot in your home. Storage should be incorporated in every room in your home, including making use of wasted spaces and underutilized areas. Use the corners and edges of rooms to create small nooks and more intimate spaces that can change as your kids grow up and out. Don’t limit one room to a single purpose, either.

4. Bedrooms Should Stand the Test of Time
Your kids are big a lot longer than they are little, so while tiny bedrooms may work for a while, they aren’t the best option down the road. Plan bedrooms to accommodate at least a double bed to ensure that the room serves many purposes later on. If you want to create an office, craft space, or multi-purpose room in the future, it’s easier to work with a larger area. Even if your kids stay in twin beds the whole time they live with you, larger bedrooms will help you sell your house later, too.

5. Flow is Just as Important as Space
While having enough room is essential, so is how the space works together. You can have a huge house that doesn’t feel comfortable or work for your family if the rooms do not work together to create a cohesive space. The space of the shape matters and a residential architect can help you make the most of whatever space you have.

6. Choose Materials that Will Last
When you have small kids, you want materials that are easy-to-clean and rugged. As they get older, you still want your home to look beautiful and stand up to years of use. Invest in materials that are built to last and will require less of the kind of maintenance that will force you away from enjoying time with your family.

If you have any questions, would like to know more about working with an NJ architect or want to discover more tips for building a house, please reach out to our team today.