Have you ever walked into an older home, taken one look at the layout, design, or interior choices, and said to yourself, “What on earth were they thinking when they built this house?”
In most cases, the short answer to that question is this: the homebuilders were creating a home that reflected the styles, needs, and desires of the people who lived during that time period. When viewed through that lens, the homebuilders of today are doing pretty much the same thing they have always done.
So in 2015, what are the important aspects of new homes that are being constructed and decorated for modern residents? Here are some of the most popular choices according to recent polls of people in the homebuilding industry:
- Greener features. More people are trying to minimize the amount of fossil fuel-powered energy they consume. As a result, amenities like ENERGY STAR appliances, low-flow toilets and faucets, ceiling fans, and low-E windows are in high demand.
- More functional kitchens. Double sinks and recessed lighting are preferred by homeowners who value kitchen efficiency. But since fewer families make use of dining rooms these days, eat-in kitchen spaces are becoming more commonplace.
- Master bedrooms which emphasize convenience. Many residents don’t relish climbing stairs to get to their master bedrooms, so they’re opting to put these rooms on the first floor. Plus, walk-in closets are fast becoming a necessity rather than a luxury.
- Transformed gathering spaces. The idea of a separate family room, living room, and den is becoming a thing of the past. Today’s families are embracing the “great room” concept that combines the advantages of both a kitchen and a family room.
- The inclusion of laundry rooms. However, homeowners aren’t willing to skimp on space when it comes to laundry facilities. Instead of washer/dryer closets or nooks, people tend to prefer larger laundry rooms where clothes can be cleaned, sorted, and even ironed.
- Home office. Upscale houses are frequently built with some type of home office or study included, especially in this era of work-at-home professions. At the very least, modern spare bedrooms can easily be configured into multifunctional spaces.
- Two-car garages. Despite an emphasis on public transportation by municipalities, homeowners still desire room for two vehicles in their garage. Even single-car households will still use the extra space for storage or a workshop.
- Engineered wood products for structural purposes. When it comes to beams, joists, and trusses, natural wood is being jettisoned in favor of engineered wood. That’s because EWPs provide more load-bearing capacity, greater stability, and superior structural predictability.
- Smarter roofing choices. In addition to composite shingles or other lightweight materials, modern roofs are being improved so that they can last even longer and better withstand high winds.
- Built-in gutter guards. Finally, homeowners tend to despise cleaning their gutters – which is why gutter guards are becoming more common in new home construction (although residents can always invest in Gutter Helmet gutter protection systems as an add-on feature).
Most newly-built homes are being tailored to meet the demands of today’s homeowners. Whether or not homes that are built in 2015 will look strange or less functional to the people living in future decades remains to be seen.
Written by Del Thebaud