Building & Construction Trends that Matter Most

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Building & Construction Trends that Matter Most

Whether you are building a new home, or looking to buy a home, it is an important life decision.  And with homebuilder confidence at the highest point in more than 7 years, the decision to build, or buy a new home, is being made by more and more people.

Whether you are a builder, designer or homeowner, it is important to understand what matters most in construction and building trends today.  What kind of home do people want, what attributes are most important?  This will help you narrow your search, if you are looking for a new home, or direct a client to the right property or home.









Various organizations like the US Census Bureau, National Association of Realtors and the National Associate of Home Builders conduct regular surveys to answer these questions and uncover building trends..

Today we will look at some of these findings.  For example, the US Census Bureau released is findings from the 2012 census last month, revealing some interesting changes in home construction over the last 25 years.

  • 89% of all home built in 2012 had an air conditioner, in 1973 it was only 49%.  In the National Association of Realtors survey central air conditioning was the most important to buyers
  • The average size of a home in 2012 was just over 2500 SF, in 1973 it was just over 1600 SF
  • 30% of homes have three or more bathrooms
  • Gas remains the most popular heating system compared to electric

Larger homes, keeping cool, gas heating…what else do homeowners really want?  Let’s turn to the Eye on Housing from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the annual National Association of Realtors (NAR) Survey, which reminds us that sometimes it’s the little things in life that matter most.

Four key findings:

1. Homeowners want an energy efficient home.

energy star logo

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise.  Although “green building” news isn’t reaching our ears as frequently as it was 5-6 years ago, customers are still conscientious of making homes that produce less waste and which are more efficient – whether this is due to a strong desire to reduce a global footprint or just save some money – both reasons are important.  Creating an energy efficient home is easier than ever, and you can do it with something as small as your appliances, and as large as your windows or plumbing.   Even installing radiant heat like Warmboard can increase your energy efficiency.

2. Homeowners want to be organized.

With 35% bigger houses from 1973 to 2012, it is no wonder that organization is so important.

According to the NAHB, laundry rooms, pantries, linen closets and plenty of storage in the garage were important.

  • 57% of those surveyed by the NAHB would not even consider a home if it didn’t have a laundry room.
  • 86% surveyed wanted that precious garage space for storage, bikes, and other family essentials, and in 2012 the NAR reports 78% of the homes purchased had a garage.
  • 85% desired a walk in kitchen pantry.
  • The NAR also reports that the coveted walk in closet in the master bedroom was desired by almost 70% of those surveyed, and if there wasn’t one, they would spend nearly $2000 to build it.

3. Homeowners value certain Architectural Spaces & Attributes

When it comes to architectural spaces, there has been a shift from grandiose two-story stairways and entries to creating more family-centered and common spaces.  According to the NAR, the in-law suites, basement and eat-in kitchen are three in particular.

Bath Show Walnut Flooring In Kitchen










When it comes to architectural attributes there are certain things homeowners definitely DO NOT want.  According to the NAHB this includes glass front cabinets, ceramic tile and laminate countertops, wet bars and wine coolors.

But there are certain things that homeowners do want like energy efficient appliances and ceiling fans according to the NAHB.  Wood floors remain a very popular choice, especially in the Northeast according to the NAR.  There was a dramatic jump in the number of homes using solid wood floors or engineered wood flooring, and using them in more rooms.  They also report that over 80% of those surveyed consider wood flooring as very or somewhat important.

4.  Homeowners Want Space

Just a few years ago sprawling gated communities seemed to spring up in the Southeast, as did the golf course communities.  While these may still be appealing to some, according to the NAHB survey having a home in a golf course or gated community were in the top 5 of what homeowners DO NOT want.  Instead, some regions of the country, like the South, preferred wooded lots with trees.












As 2013 draws to a close later this year it will be interesting to see where building trends are at.  As with most things related to home construction, it is a constant pendulum that swings back and forth.

What do you think of these construction trends?  Which of them do you think are here to stay?  If you were building or buying a new home which one would be most important to you?




What Do Home Buyers Really Want?
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