Flex space, private retreats and green living are in. So are tidy garages, smart homes and everything organized. Wasted space is out, along with squandered energy and poor indoor air quality.
These are some of the trends in new home construction for 2008 from builders who are increasingly conscious of what consumers want in today’s market. Buyers can expect to find a greater selection of options this year, including more built-in storage and organization features, plenty of high-tech gadgets and, of course, an abundance of green and energy-efficient choices.
There are even special options for man’s best friend. Beazer Homes has embraced the emerging pet center trend by incorporating doggie baths and feeding stations into some of its new home plans.
According to Tony Callahan, senior vice president of design and purchasing at Beazer, energy-saving features have become a priority with buyers and sustainable building practices are not far behind in the list of what consumers want.
“Beazer already has built homes with solar panels and tested zero-energy homes in communities in California,” Callahan said. “Look for more builders in the coming year to offer a variety of practical energy-saving options like programmable thermostats and low-volume faucets.”
Another trend that is expected to continue beyond 2008 is “flex space,” a phrase coined to redefine that extra square footage previously called media room, bonus room or playroom.
Other new and continuing trends for 2008 include:
Abundant storage: Surveys have shown that buyers want more storage. Sought-after options include super pantries and kitchens with pullout drawers and shelves.
That special place: The master suite that includes a bath retreat with separate shower and tub. Also tucked away can be a sitting area and TV niche.
Dramatic heights: Ten-foot ceilings on the first level with coffered treatments in the great room and dining room.
Surface appeal: Stainless kitchen appliances with a built-in look continue to be popular, along with granite or marble counters and hardwood floors.
Breathe it in: A healthy home is one with clean air. More homeowners will turn to MERV 8 filters, which trap up to four times more particles than typical filters, prolonging the life of the heating and cooling system while providing cleaner air.