Sizing Your Home to Fit Your Individual Needs



This is a collaborative blog by both Bruce and Carol McElmurray from each individual perspective. Both Bruce and Carol have varying viewpoints on some subjects when it comes to their home in which they have lived for 23 years. It is located in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of southern Colorado at 9,800 feet of elevation. Both have separately expressed their views as indicated below.

Carol: When we built our cabin in the Southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado we were both in our 40s. We chose to build a small A-frame which fit our budget and our goal of minimalism. Over the years, and now that we are in our 70’s, we have discovered some choices that we made that have made life a bit more challenging as we have aged.  Perhaps sharing these insights will help others who are making plans to build a retirement home.

Bathrooms. Carol: When we retired we moved from a 2-1/2 bath home to a one bath home with a commode, sink and shower. We didn’t realize how often we would like to have had two bathrooms and a bathtub if only to give the dogs a bath in! Having more than one bathroom — even a 1/2 bath — would be a good thing to consider. Bruce: I would agree that having more than one bathroom even for two people would be a good option. It isn’t often that we have a conflict with the one bathroom but nature being what it is, there are occasional conflicts. A composting toilet would normally be an option but regretfully our county does not allow them. 

Second floor. Carol: It did not occur to us that as we aged that going up a spiral staircase to the sleeping loft would be an issue - but it has proven to be so. Having a home that is on one level is a good choice — or a sleeping loft for company or storage. Bruce: I have to agree that having a one story makes sense for when you grow older. Life in the mountains is hard on our bodies and especially our knees, ankles and hips. Going up and down stairs or a spiral staircase becomes increasingly difficult and painful. 

Bedrooms. Carol: The home we moved from had 3 bedrooms. We have only the sleeping loft. In retrospect enclosing an area on the first floor would have been a wise decision given the reasons cited above or even a second sleeping space. Bruce: We had considered converting our pantry into a bedroom when we became older but that became less practical as time passed and has become less of an option. Adding an additional bedroom initially would have been a better choice. 

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