Builders believe COVID will change home designs of the future
As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on throughout communities in the United States, home building experts are increasingly predicting that the way in which homes are designed will be forever changed by the upheaval the coronavirus has caused, an article in Builder says. The article points to an increase in Google search terms as part of the evidence, noting that searches like "home gym," "home office," and "healthy home" are more abundant than they ever have been as people increasingly adopt a "shelter in place" mentality as a lifestyle rather than a temporary arrangement.
As such, experts say homes of the future will need greater thought into the comforts of working at home and spending more time there rather than doing things such as going to an office, gyms or restaurants. Perhaps the most pronounced transition will be to the number of people who will need better home office spaces going forward, the article says, especially as many companies transition workers to home offices on a more permanent basis. Dedicated office spaces with better lighting for participating in virtual meetings and ample technology accessories are expected to become the norm going forward.
For smaller homes, the article's experts believe convertible multi-use spaces will be in vogue as people increasingly need space for exercising or working as well as simply living. To achieve good multi-use spaces, builders will need to anticipate all of an area's mixed uses from the point of the initial design.
Also likely needed in design concepts will be arrangements that would allow family members to age in place rather than in a nursing home or assisted living facility. If multiple generations will share a home, though, spaces that allow privacy between the generations will be necessary to make the design functional for modern families, and planning those spaces from the start will be far easier than trying to retrofit a design to suit a mixed generation family after the fact.
Technology is another component of future homes that home builders anticipate will become extremely important to future buyers. Aside from a more sophisticated technology system for one or more home offices, technology will increasingly be expected to be touchless to help prevent the spread of germs.
To further prevent the spread of germs, antimicrobial surfaces are expected to play a greater role in home design in the future, the article says. Easily cleanable surfaces such as metal and vinyl will likely become more prevalent in designs, as will better air quality, more handwashing stations, and enhanced outdoor spaces, experts say.
And kitchens are likely to become the heartbeat of a home as people are increasingly wary of eating in public places, experts believe. Designs that are spacious enough to let people gather and well equipped enough to provide all the necessities and creature comforts for cooking at home will become even more elevated in importance than they have been in recent years.