Texas Builder Magazine, Mar-Apr 2015 - page 14

Texas Association of Builders
March/April 2015
Industry Trends
In the 21
century, formal living rooms have become, ironically, among the most lifeless
spaces in homes, with modern families tending to congregate in family rooms (go figure).
Entertaining is also frequently done in more casual areas such as the kitchen or the family
roomwhere larger furniture and state-of-the-art entertainment systems can be shown
off and other commodities, such as built-in bars, can be utilized. New home designs are
not necessarily getting any smaller, but with energy-efficiency becoming a stronger focus,
people are realizing that wasted space means wasted energy and, ultimately, wasted
money. Living rooms as separate, and oftentimes“stuffy,”sitting areas are being completely
left off the blueprints these days.This leaves more space for expanded kitchens and open
floor plans, creating the opportunity for multi-functional, grand rooms on the main level
versus the traditional separation of a formal living room (also facing extinction: the Formal
Dining Room”).
Despite living in a state where everything is bigger, manyTexas homeowners are now
looking for smaller accommodations.Turning away from the current average home size,
which the most recent census shows has increased to 2,500 sq ft, more and more new
home buyers are looking for homes under 500 sq ft, with some even under 100 sq ft
Lower utility costs, taxes, and a lower mortgage are often listed as top reasons buyers are
moving to these more compact dwellings.This trend has taken off in recent years since
the economic downturn. Many baby-boomers and millennials are finding that the tiny
house fulfills their desires such as reduced debt, a lower carbon footprint, and greater
mobility, while also allowing them to enjoy the benefit of homeownership.While the trend
doesn’t appeal to everyone, there are some significant populations of tiny home owners in
California, Colorado, Florida,Wisconsin, and even here inTexas
Those in the market to build a new house will want to be sure they explore the avenue of prefabricated modular homes.The savings in time and money on modular building
can be huge as all sections of the home are constructed at an offsite, indoor location and then shipped directly to the lot where they can be quickly put together.This option can
be especially advantageous to those looking to build in remote or rural areas where local contractors and materials can be sparse. Oftentimes, people in the planning stages of
new home construction can find themselves paralyzed by the overwhelming amount of options available to them.They may worry about making choices that might not fit their
changing family in the future.With modular homes, later additions and changes can also be made cheaper and quicker than in a conventional house. Less permanence means
more flexibility, and if the day comes that the homeowner needs or wants to move, they have the option of taking the parts of their house with them and reassembling at the
new location. As for quality, despite the use of discounted materials and time-saving methods, modular building ends up producing long-lasting structures that are even better
able to withstand the destructive forces of Mother Nature than their stick-built counterparts.
Photo Courtesy of Tiny Texas Houses, tinytexashouses.com
1...,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,...36
Powered by FlippingBook