If you are looking for big changes in the homes of 2015, you probably won’t find them. But here is what builders say they do expect to change for the new homes of 2015:
According to the results of the study, surveyed home builders expect new single-family homes to check in at an average of 2,150 square feet. Current single family homes measure around 2,400 square feet, which is already a decrease from the peak home size in 2007 of 2,521…
Other things that make up the home of 2015? No more living room. According to the survey, 52 percent of builders expect the living room to merge with other spaces and 30 percent believe that it will vanish completely to save on square footage. Instead, expect to see great rooms — a space that combines the family and living room and flows into the kitchen.
Expect to see more:
- spacious laundry rooms
- master suite walk-in closets
- eat-in kitchens
- two-car garages
- ceiling fans
Expect to see less:
- formal dining rooms
- four bedrooms or more
- media or hobby rooms
Many of these changes reflect a desire for builders and consumers going green. Smaller space means more efficient heating and cooling. Ceiling fans distribute heat evenly while skylights, on the other hand, release heat.
The two big changes proposed here aren’t revolutionary. Particularly if the economy remains in the doldrums, homes will decrease in size. The real question is what would happen if the economy really picked up again – would builders go back to larger homes? Also, 2,150 square feet is still pretty large and perhaps is more of a reflection of the smaller number of people per home these days. The formal living room hasn’t been too popular for a while and this could also be behind the drop in home sizes. Of course, compared to the sweep of American homes over the last sixty years, these are changes.
The rest seem like pretty small adjustments. I suppose I was hoping for something a little more revolutionary but I’ll have to settle for bigger laundry rooms and a few other things. The picture attached to the story of a more slanted Hawaii home that can take advantage of “Photovoltaics” looks a lot more interesting than the rest of the story. Would Americans buy a home that looked like that just to save on energy?
Also: where do builders get their ideas about these things? From surveys and marketing they conduct or industry-wide figures and trends? What if we could ask what builders themselves would like to see change? Perhaps they simply want to go with what the public wants.