New homes are in high demand right now, and builders are busier than ever. Homeowner expectations in new construction might vary by region, but here are some of the most requested features in home design across the U.S.
Most homeowners have gone digital in their homes in varying degrees: From door locks to thermostats to power outlets, they’re upgrading all of these features to be smarter.
Homebuyers are beginning to expect these devices to come standard in their new residence. Here are some of the most popular (and highest-rated) smart home products out there.
The August Wi-Fi Smartlock, which allows homeowners to lock and unlock doors right from their smartphones, has been featured in CNET and PCMag as the best-connected lock on the market. Other great brands include Schlage, Kwikset and Yale, but the August device comes highly recommended for its smooth installation and integration with other smart home applications.
The Nest thermostat lets homeowners control the comfort of the indoor environment, by using its touchscreen or from a mobile app. Voice control is also available through Google or Alexa devices. The Nest thermostat is an affordable option for anyone who wants to regulate how much energy their home is using, and it can help them save an average of 10% - 15% on utility bills.
The SimpliSafe home security system offers smart home monitoring that comes highly recommended, and it’s easy-to-install, with no contract required for setup. If homeowners don’t want a full security system, a smart doorbell might be another option.
The Wyze doorbell + camera is affordable and easy to use, and it lets homeowners see when visitors (or packages) are at their doorstep. Featuring LED, motion-sensor lights and two-way audio, the small but robust doorbell system does it all.
Smart home assistants offer homeowners access to their music, podcasts, daily news and weather reports, as well as any other compatible smart devices in the home. While these speakers, such as the Sonos One pictured above or Amazon’s Echo, are not built into the home, many builders are including them as a complimentary item ready for day one of ownership.
The Sonos One is one of the most recommended assistants, offering a high-quality speaker and voice-activated assistance in one. It’s compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, so homeowners can use it with whichever system they prefer.
Homeowners want more ways to stay sustainable, and that means managing their energy usage (and utility bills). This Smart Wi-Fi Outlet from Topgreener “connects directly to your home’s Wi-Fi network and gives you one always-on receptacle, with the other controlled by your phone or voice. The one smart receptacle also monitors your energy usage, so you can get a better idea of just how much electricity that space heater is pulling.”
It’s compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant.
Speaking of energy conservation: Energy-efficient building materials like windows, insulation and siding are also a top priority for new homeowners who want a home that will retain their value. The products you build with make a big difference on how the home performs over time, and homeowners want products that stand the test of time. Builders can help homeowners understand the appropriate level of insulation for their homes — one of the first steps toward saving on energy in the home.
Windows and doors will make the biggest difference in home energy usage. “Energy efficient windows are an important consideration for both new and existing homes. Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use,” according to the Department of Energy.
Builders can help homeowners choose the right materials and finishes for these features, to help them save on utility bills in the future. Working with a dealer like Brand Vaughan Lumber means homeowners can choose from a wide range of high-performing products (like the Sierra Pacific windows featured here).
Homeowners today don’t want a cookie-cutter home: They’re looking for customized details that reflect their family’s personality and fit their specific needs.
Large expanses of glass are a great way for builders to give homeowners a design they’ll truly love. Customized window design adds character to a home, and gives families more opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, even if it’s from the living room.
Homeowners also want more transitional areas in the home, like mudrooms or sitting rooms. These spaces can be planned into new home designs, and give homeowners a way to transition from the outside world to their home life.
Since theaters may never be as popular as they once were, making the most of entertainment spaces is a great way to customize a new home, and should include lots of space for lounging and high-quality speakers to make movie night more enjoyable. Homeowners might opt for a television screen that also allows video conferencing (because if you’re anything like us, Zoom is here to stay).
Builders can help make new homes more functional for homeowners by including multiple master suites in the design. These spaces provide homeowners with additional room for aging parents, visiting in-laws or the grandkids. It’s also a great option for anyone who might want to rent out the extra space as an Airbnb.
In fact, extra rooms are a hot commodity for new homes, so homeowners might also include outdoor units or storage sheds as a part of the design.
The additional space can function in a few ways, even as a seasonal rental in some situations. “They can be outfitted to become an accessory dwelling unit for returning grown children, renters, or quiet work-from-home quarters, as more municipalities approve ADUs,” according to Barbara Ballinger for Realtor Magazine.
With more time spent at home these days, outdoor designs that encourage more entertaining and enjoyment outside are popular. That means home designs that include pergolas, hot tubs and outdoor kitchens. Builders can help homeowners design the perfect space by using materials that are tested for weather resistance and durability.
Open floor plans are becoming less popular, because homeowners want more functional areas that give them the space they need to work or play — without disturbing other people in the home (or being disturbed while on an important conference call).
Today’s designs have the opportunity to include a home office space or library that’s designed for privacy and ultimate productivity. Be mindful to keep acoustic comfort in mind, along with visual access to the outdoors so that homeowners can enjoy views of the outside and natural light while they work to stay stimulated and inspired.
“Builders are going to be really busy (in 2021),” Danushka Nanayakkara‑Skillington with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) told Forbes. “There’s a renewed interest in housing after (people have been) crammed into a small apartment or house during Covid lockdowns. Now, more than ever, people want more space. New construction on single-family homes could exceed 1 million (in 2021).”
Brand Vaughan Lumber is here to help residential builders, designers and contractors with solutions for their building projects. Whatever your homeowner might require, BVL has products and solutions for your next home design.
We’re committed to providing high-quality service to help you get the job done efficiently. We’d love to work with you to find the best products for any design your customers have in mind. Get in touch with us today to get started.