Although no one could have predicted the COVID pandemic, many think that it will have long-term effects in future decisions, including buying or building a home. The “new normal” has led potential home buyers to rethink their priorities for future homes. As a trusted partner for architects, builders and homeowners across the nation for more than a century, Acme Brick has been considered a reliable predictor when it comes to changes within the housing market.
Although housing trends and priorities are consistently evolving, there are 10 that will likely drive future home searches and construction.
#1 Light and Space Will Be Prized
Residents have new-found appreciation for the ancient phrase: “Let there be light and more space.” This reality is especially true for those who live in high-density urban apartments, lofts, townhomes and other small spaces. Living space and light have become a new priority. As this article notes, “It wouldn't be surprising to see a lot of studio apartment dwellers hoping to upgrade to larger abodes in the months following the pandemic. In general, expect a trend toward light-filled, airy homes with views of something other than the neighboring alley.
#2 Keeping Germs at the Front Door Will Be Important
Architects and interior designers are rethinking functional, yet stylish ways to keep future homes safe from the germs that might be lurking outside. According to Brooklyn architect Frederick Tang, there will be a heightened response to clothes and hygiene. “We will see more mudrooms that elide (join together) with laundry functions,” he said. “The utility sink for washing will also enjoy a second life as a hand-wash station, perhaps with motion sensor plumbing fixtures for touch less use. He can even envision storage outside the front door. Inside, the washers and dryers could be made suitable for small loads cleaned in short cycles.”
#3 The Importance of the Kitchen Will Become Even Greater
Many homeowners have gotten re-acquainted with their kitchens during this extra time spent at home. In recent years, the kitchen has become the “heart” of the home. Now that families have grown accustomed to cooking several meals a day, expect a continued trend toward large open kitchens where families can gather to cook together. “Brick has been an integral part of the trend toward the kitchen being the focal point of the home,” said Logan Moss of Acme Brick. “With our thinBRIK and tile for walls and backsplashes, and our luxury vinyl flooring for durability and warmth, our products can greatly enhance the experience of cooking, eating and all family time in the kitchen.”
#4 Privacy Is at a Premium
Years before families were asked to stay at home, homeowners had made the decision to stay in their homes longer than previous generations. There was also a trend toward multi-generational homes with younger adult children and older parents coming to live with their relatives. That trend has exploded with the pandemic making privacy a premium. Never has “future proofing” been more important to homeowners. Exterior and interior walls that are built from brick, keep the day-to-day noise such as business conference calls and other family activities at a minimum.
#5 The Demand for Energy Efficiency Will Increase
Homebuyers who have been working and living at home 24/7 have a renewed appreciation for the cost of keeping the lights on, the computers running and the AC cooling! Energy efficiency is at the top of most wish lists. “Because of its mass and the air space behind it, brick is one of the best performing walls for residential structures,” Jay Cox of Acme Brick noted. “Because of the mass of brick, the heat on the outside of the building during a hot summer day takes a substantial amount of time to work its way into the building. By the time this has happened, it is typically the evening and the air is cooling down. It acts as an insulating barrier due to the nature of the product itself. When the weather turns colder, this insulation barrier of brick works the opposite way. When the sunshine hits a brick wall, the mass of the brick stores the heat from the sunlight, which helps keep the building warm.”
#6 A Home Workout Space Is No Longer a Luxury
Social distancing has precluded many otherwise active people from going to the gym for their workouts. According to this article, “For many in quarantine, a significant decrease in activity is more than a vanity issue – it's a mental health issue. While a home gym fully stocked with the latest equipment is a dream-home scenario, a small space with a TV, floor mats and weights can still provide a much-needed break during tense times.”
#7 Entertaining at Home Is the New Normal
Because fewer friends and family are going out to eat, an outdoor entertainment space has become one of the most popular “rooms” in the home and new homebuyers will be looking for this amenity. “Because of the safety of brick in a cooking environment, we have begun to offer other outdoor entertainment products for building and homeowners,” said, Logan Moss of Acme Brick. Our grills - American Outdoor Grills and Saffire Grills, fire features and our GrassTex synthetic turf are all designed to enhance outdoor entertaining.”
#8 Taking Work Home Will Continue
Business publications have noted this trend has been coming for some time. “Well before COVID-19, the American workforce had been leaning toward freelance work and jobs that can be done, at least part-time, from home. Now that pandemic related restrictions have made long-term working from home a necessity for many, homeowners will be on the lookout for properties that effortlessly accommodate business needs. This will usually start with a private, quiet space for an office or dedicated work area. Technology is also crucial, so homes with ample electrical outlets and high-speed Wi-Fi equipment or hardwired ethernet connections will earn high marks.”
#9 A Secure Home Delivery Portal Has Become a “Must-Have”
The trend toward home deliveries of everything from food to critical business documents, which was already growing, has been kicked up several notches by the COVID pandemic. This has led to an urgent need for a secure way to prevent “porch pirates” from practicing their mayhem. The Ore Mailboxes from Acme feature faceplate designs that are made of aluminum and cast in hand carved wood artistry for an authentic look and feel. According to Andrea Milner of Acme Brick, Tile & Stone “The body consists of high-quality galvanized metal for long lasting, consistent, aggravation-free performance. Furniture grade pulls, stainless steel hinges and parts enhance their performance.”
#10 Media Rooms Offer Some Much-Needed R&R
When the movie theatres closed, sporting events stopped and music and performance venues shuttered, homeowners realized that there’s no place like home for entertainment. Today’s media room has a dazzling array of high technology that can challenge the sensory experience of any commercial movie theatre. For example, multiple flat screen panels are now a part of many home theatre rooms. When an additional large, ceiling-installed screen is included in this system, it can be pulled down to cover the flat screens and movies can be projected on it. “Brick walls also enhance high-tech media rooms in two ways,” said Jacob Emery of Acme Brick. “From an aesthetic standpoint, there is nothing quite like the richness of color and warmth found in brick. In some home theatre rooms, thinBrik is used as an accent wall to give the room a unique look. As a practical matter, brick can also help with the acoustics of the home theatre. With brick construction, outside noise is kept out, and the inside volume of loud movies and shows are kept inside the room.”
How have your priorities changed? If we can help you with your decisions, don’t hesitate to visit any of the Acme Brick showrooms, call us or click here to reach one of our many experts.