Archive for September 2016

New Homes Are Getting Smaller

Is Bigger Better? Learn From A Southern MD New Homes Builder

Builder pics showing Southern MD Home SizesFrom the early 1990s to the beginning of this century, “bigger is better” certainly was the mantra of the home-building industry. All across North America buyers could browse among home developments boasting homes of 3,000 square feet or larger and multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. But according to new data, home buyers are seeking less space today but more in green amenities.

Research by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association has found that many people now desire smaller homes with multipurpose rooms and energy saving features. They’re not ready to trade in their two- and three-car garages just yet, though. Plus, a survey of International Furnishings and Design Association members forecasts that McMansions will become a thing of the past and more emphasis will be placed on smaller, more eco-friendly homes. Family rooms will grow larger, as will kitchens. Other rooms in the home will disappear, including the living room.

Many homeowners and potential home buyers realize that with girth comes a cost. In today’s fragile economy, the ability to cash in on the dream of homeownership may come at the compromise of a smaller, better-planned home.

According to Tim Bailey, the manager of Avid Canada, a research and consulting firm for the building industry, “While many consumers are willing to forgo space, they are not equating this with having to forfeit functionality. Design creativity is requisite to adapt to this changing preference.”

Here are some things that you will and will not find in newer homes moving forward.

* The dining room is becoming extinct, with larger, eat-in-kitchen/entertaining spaces the norm. The kitchen will be the main room of the home and be renamed the “kitchen lounge.”

* Separate rooms are evolving into spaces that serve many different purposes.

* Although the sizes of bathrooms may be scaled back, the amenities will not. Spa-style bathrooms with luxurious products, high-tech features and televisions will be on the rise.

* The master bedroom suite may not shrink in size, but it could be combined to form a home office and exercise space.

* Expect to see more high-tech offerings, such as voice- or motion-activation devices in the home. Lighting, entertainment gear, heating/cooling systems, and even blinds could be hooked up to a master control system.

* Thanks to an increasing number of people working from home, the presence of a dedicated home office is a given in newer homes. Nearly 40 percent of industry forecasters say that they expect one in every home.

* Home storage solutions will also be a vital component of new homes. Builders will create clever solutions for mixing storage into more compact spaces.

* With aging Baby Boomers comprising a larger segment of home buyers, expect to see more one-level homes, or at least homes where there is a master suite and the majority of the living space on the first level.

Part of what is driving this trend is the cost of homes in relation to space and the increased interest in environmental conservation. Smaller, more efficient homes require less in terms of heating and cooling energy. They need less furniture, and new materials made from sustainable products help further fuel green initiatives in the building industry. Energy efficient homes are a main priority for buyers. Although the homes may be smaller, they will not be miniscule. And home buyers can expect a host of amenities that will make the smaller size of homes barely perceptible.

Bring more light into a home

Southern MD Builder Notes:

Lighten Up Your Southern MD Home

southern md windowBig windows, light-colored walls and furnishings and the inclusion of French doors can help brighten up a room even during the peak of a Southern MD winter.

A home without ample lighting can be uncomfortable. Dark rooms can exacerbate feelings of depression and make a home feel less inviting to guests. However, bringing in more outside light or supplementing with artificial light can quickly transform the atmosphere of a space.

Daylight hours begin to shrink in the northern hemisphere starting as early as September. When daylight savings time is in full force, it can get dark as early as 4:30 in the afternoon. While this premature darkness may be ideal for animals who are hibernating for the season, for humans who remain active throughout the year, increasing the amount of light that is present in a home is a goal each winter.

There are different strategies to let in more light when the sun sets.

* When purchasing a new home, be conscious of window placement and also the direction in which a home faces. Apartments and homes that face north will be dark most of the day. Rather, those that face south will have ample sunlight. In addition, look at how many trees are on the property. Even a home that faces south can have compromised sunlight if it is hampered by many trees.

* Open curtains and blinds all the way throughout the home during the winter months. Not only will this let in more light, but it also may warm the home from the sun, cutting down on heating costs.

* Clean the windows. Dirt and grime that accumulates on windows can affect how much sunlight filters through.

* When planning a home renovation project, consider adding a window on a wall where there currently is none or think about the inclusion of skylights to let in more light from above. Innovations in skylight technology enable small ones to be placed in rooms and connected through interior tubes that reflect the light. French doors also can bring in a lot of light. Separate a dark room from a bright room with a set of French doors to spread even more light throughout the home.

* Paint walls with lighter colors that reflect light more effectively. Dark-colored floors and walls tend to absorb light, enhancing a cave-like atmosphere.

* Purchase light fixtures that allow for a higher wattage of light bulb, which will be brighter. You may find higher wattages even in energy-conserving compact fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs.

* Stagger lights at varying heights to cast equal light throughout rooms. Task lighting, overhead lighting and decorative ambient lighting can combine to achieve a warm, inviting atmosphere.

* Use solar lights outdoors to add extra illumination outside, which can make your home more welcoming when arriving home at night.

* Clear rooms of clutter as such items can interrupt the flow of light.

* If you find that the light in your home is still lacking and you can benefit from a burst of extra light therapy, consider the purchase of a therapy lamp that simulates sunlight. Set the timer and have it face you in the morning or afternoon. There also are alarm clocks that wake you with the simulation of a rising sun.

To banish winter doldrums, sometimes the key is to simply let more light into a home.