Looking for great ideas for your home?
At Addbuild, we work on up to 80 projects a year, which puts us in a good position to identify and share what’s currently ‘in’ when people are making changes to their house.
You might anticipate some of these trends, but we think one or two may also surprise you.
The return of the extended family?
Perhaps a side-effect of housing affordability is the increasing number of projects that look to accommodate other relatives.
Typically, we are being asked to create distinct sections of homes, from separate entrances to discrete bathrooms, kitchens and living areas.
Most of you will be familiar with the fact that young people are living at home for longer. This has led to families adapting their houses to create more privacy for children staying put into the twenties, even thirties.
However, we’re also seeing less publicised situations where middle-aged family members are moving back to the family home for a number of different reasons.
For some, it’s to look after an elderly parent, for others it might be after the end of a relationship, or for financial reasons.
There’s also an increase, though not quite so common, of the “sandwich” generation: middle-aged families who are accommodating both children and an elderly parent in the family home.
In these situations, a well-designed renovation can make the best use of space in a home, while an addition or extension will increase the living areas.
The desired result is a home that maintains distinct zones allowing families to live with and care for each other, without living on top of each other.
We work closely with our customers to get this balance right, and we get tremendous satisfaction when hearing positive feedback as it’s such an important outcome.
And creating more rooms with flexible living arrangements can also be a smart way of adding value to a home.
Allied to changes forced on a household needing to accommodate other family members – or giving younger ones staying longer than expected a bit more independence – is the trend towards renovations that ensure a home is adaptable.
We’re seeing more and more families planning smart renovations for the future.
Creating a home that accommodates lifestyle changes without the need to make further renovations is also a trend supported by the government site, Your Home.
Other aspects of this trend include making it easy to subdivide a house in the future to provide rental income, and making sure that the house is accessible as the occupants get older.
Planning ahead avoids making reactive changes when it might be far more inconvenient to do so.
Planning for climate change
Whatever your views on the impacts of climate change, many people are using the opportunity of a renovation to ensure that all bets are covered.
This might be anything from thoroughly installing roof and wall insulation, to ensuring your roof is designed to cope with more intense and prolonged rainfall.
In flood-prone areas, it can include raising the level of the house, or increasing the drainage capacity around the home.
Most of these changes are win-win. A better insulated home will reduce your energy bills, so this is worth pursuing if the opportunity arises.
Naturally we also see more houses installing solar panels and battery storage. The price of both have come down substantially, so it’s something worth revisiting now if you were put off by the cost in the recent past.
The Basement or Attic Escape
This is more of an enduring trend than a new one.
Basements and attics are usually dark and not particularly easy spaces to use.
However, they can be the perfect place to locate a play area for kids (or adults… think ‘man cave’!) or for extra low-cost storage. Some simple modifications can release a lot of room for not a lot of money.
And while you’re looking up, it’s worth seeing if the addition of a floor is something you can afford, or raise finance for.
As well as providing you with more space, it’s a good way of increasing the value of your home, and can be a strong investment.
As a design and build company, we’re happy to discuss with prospective clients how some of these trends could be applied to their home. Feel free to contact us to talk about your plans.
And be sure to download our free Consumer Guide to Worry-Free Home Improvement for everything you need to know before starting home alterations, even if you’re just beginning to research some ideas.