According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American moves 11.4 times in their lifetime. In any given year, about 5% of homeowners move. These people move for job-related and family-related reasons, but the most common reason for a move is housing related. Nearly half (43%) of people who moved in 2017 did so because they were looking for a better option than their current home.
What this data highlights is that housing needs change over time. Despite people’s complete dread at the thought of moving, sometimes it’s simply necessary due to needing a larger home to fit a changing lifestyle. Of course, anyone who’s spending months or even years planning the construction of a new home won’t want to move anytime soon.
If you’re in the process of building a home you’re in a unique position. You have the ability to futureproof your new custom home and increase the odds that it will fit your needs for many years to come.
What Does It Mean to “Futureproof” a Home
Futureproofing means that you’re taking steps to ensure your home will meet your needs well into the future. It can refer to a number of design elements from technological features to layout to construction materials.
To futureproof your home, you have to consider what changes may be around the corner. You can’t predict every upcoming change, but there are a few ways to plan ahead so that your home is better equipped and adaptable.
Questions That Provide the Answers for Futureproof Construction
How Long Do You Plan to Live in the Home?
The first thing to consider is how long you realistically see yourself living in the home. Many people build with the idea that they’ll live in the home forever, but that’s not always the case. The National Association of Realtors found that on average people live in a home for 6-10 years. In order to maximize the potential resale value, figure out when you might move and what would prompt the decision.
Even if you don’t plan to grow old in the home you build, consider that prospective buyers may plan to do just that. Aging in place design features like wide hallways and walk-in showers can be beneficial to you now and help to futureproof the home.
How Might Your Family Grow and Change?
Perhaps the most important futureproofing consideration is how your household will change in the years ahead. Do you plan on having more kids? Or are your children going to move out on their own soon? What about extended family members that may need a place to live in the future?
Multifunctional, flexible spaces offer the best futureproofing for families that may grow or change. Features like Murphy beds and moveable walls make it easy to convert an existing space to meet different needs. It’s also a good idea to create a home design that you can easily add on to in the future without disrupting the flow and functionality of the existing home.
For some homeowners it may make sense to build a multigenerational home if you have teenage kids or parents that are already in retirement. Multigenerational households are a growing trend in the U.S. as the population gets older and more diversified.
How Will Changing Technology Affect Home Life?
Back in the early 1900s electricity wasn’t commonplace so electrical wiring and electric outlets weren’t a part of construction. Fast-forward 100 years and the use of an ever-growing array of devices is pushing the electrical limit of homes constructed just a decade ago.
It’s a perfect example of how changing technology affects home construction. And at the pace that technology moves today, you’re better off planning for the future than planning for the present.
Futureproof your home by going above and beyond with the wiring by adding extra conduits and an abundance of sockets. Opt for an oversized main breaker. Rather than the standard 200 amp service, upgrade to 400 amp that way you can increase your electric usage in the future without fear of overloading the system.
Go head and integrate technology into the home. Add smart features, include built-ins that can hold and conceal devices and add ample points of access for Internet, phone, cable and other services throughout the home so you aren’t limited.
It’s also a good idea to consider energy-efficient solutions for long-term cost savings. Electricity, water and gas aren’t getting any cheaper. By increasing efficiency now you’ll save more money in the short-term and long-term. Before construction begins, discuss efficiency options with your builder, which range from spray-in insulation to airtight construction.
You may even want to consider adding, or at least planning for, solar panels since support for this technology is expected to expand in the coming years. If that’s something that interests you, set yourself up with a smart meter that can calculate renewable energy sold back to the electric company.
How Will the Community Change?
When land is prime for building, it inherently means things are going to change. It may not be tomorrow or even a year from now, but in 5-10 years a new community is bound to look different.
While all of this may seem completely out of your control, there are a few ways to gauge how a community may evolve. First, talk to the developer or builder to determine how much future development is planned in the community. Ask about how many more homes will be built and what community amenities are planned. You can also check with the local zoning authorities to learn what the surrounding, undeveloped land is zoned for or whether zoning may change in the near future.
In the midst of building a home it’s easy to focus on the now and current needs, but failing to plan for the future is something many homeowners quickly come to regret. At myHouseby you can personalize a variety of floor plans to get a better idea of what works for your current lifestyle and which design will be just as functional for years to come.