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Home > Feature Articles > Sustainable Development Best Practices for Community Sustainability

Small Green Homes Are Now 'Sidekick Homes' for Seniors

Small houses are growing as green solutions for seniors, home based businesses and family extensions.

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Small homes have always intrigued me. I grew up in a small home and raised my family in a small home. I'd like a small home for my retirement years. And have been following the new "small home" movement that encourages alternatives to the "MacMansion" craze that has swept our country and built unsustainable urban sprawl.

New solutions are arising. One is Sidekick Homes by Kephart Living, in Denver.

"Sidekick Homes are accessible, green, affordable and beautiful backyard cottages that blend well with existing architectural elements and neighborhood character. Sidekick Homes are designed to offer independence while promoting family and enhancing the overall community."

The ADU (accessory dwelling unit) lifestyle is enjoying a resurgence in many areas, offering attractive alternatives for boomers with aging parents and parents of young adults with special needs. It can also create a positive investment opportunity for homeowners looking to add rental revenue or have their office near their home.

New techniques of modular construction is optimizing the labor needed to construct walls complete with wiring and plumbing installed. Modular construction speeds construction compared to traditional homebuilding, and at a lower cost. Amenities can be included and be bought as part of a package that can be locally installed with minimal "prototyping" challenges.

Sidekick Homes are designed to be fully accessible, and cottages with second floors include elevators. Many homes include one or two car garages.

The fastest-growing segment of the housing market is the 50+ market to serve Baby Boomers.

With 10,000 people turning 50 every single day and 50+ consumers accounting for more than one quarter of all new home sales, it's the fastest growing segment of the housing industry.

Across the nation, builders and developers are striving to meet the housing needs of boomers, empty nesters, active adults, retirees and older seniors. Since 1989, the 50+ Housing Council has served the needs of NAHB members involved in all aspects of 50+ housing, including design, development, finance, ownership, management and sales and marketing. With 10,000 people turning 50 every single day and 50+ consumers accounting for more than one quarter of all new home sales, it's the fastest growing segment of the housing industry.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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