Everyone’s got a study, a survey, or a report of some kind.  They’re all trying to figure out what 
lies ahead for new home construction.  They want to know when the market will change, what 
homeowners want, and how homes are going to be designed in the future.  The two biggest 
industry associations, AIA and NAHB, always seem to be releasing studies that try to give us 
insight into the future of the housing industry.  Of the rumors and predictions that are being 
passed around, the biggest must be that the size of the average home is expected to fall.  You’ve 
probably seen the Tiny House shows on TV; that’s not quite what we’re talking about here.  
Single-family homes have been growing in size since the early seventies, but due to the increasing housing cost, and the shrinking of available land, this is expected to change.
There may be some significant home design changes on the horizon.  While houses may be getting smaller, the home’s volume will be increasing.  Homeowners are wanting bigger kitchens and bigger family rooms.  They want to keep vaulted ceilings and increase the number of bathrooms.  How is this all possible if the overall square footage is expected to drop?  Well, some are saying that we will see the death of the living room.  Almost 40% of homes built last year didn’t have a living room.  Many expect the living room to vanish all together, while others see it shrinking and evolving into a parlor or retreat.  The room in the average house that is most likely to increase in square footage is the family room.
Homeowners have shown that they are willing to pay extra when it comes to the kitchen, and trends have shown us that the role of the kitchen has changed.  Now, kitchens are not only for producing meals, they are for entertaining, too.  It is expected that the kitchen will become more open and more integrated into the living area, and occupants will have the ability to access home entertainment options while in the kitchen.
Exterior upgrades have become a popular way of increasing curb appeal and resale value.  Upgrades such as custom entryways, high-end roofing products, and the look of natural stone will help define the future home’s look.
Other changes foreseen in the new home are higher ceilings; 9’ and even 10’ ceilings on the entry level may become the norm.  We will see more high-end items such as radiant-heated floors, instant hot water in kitchens and bathrooms, walk-in pantries, larger windows, and outdoor kitchens with grills, sinks, and refrigerators.  Home offices will become more common in new homes, along with structured wiring and fiber-optic cabling.
Another trend of future homes will be the strong emphasis on green building.  More focus will be on energy-efficient appliances and alternate forms of energy, such as solar or geothermal energy.  Also, it is expected that there will be a strong demand for renewable building materials and designated areas for recycling in the home.
You may not be seeing tiny houses on every residential block, but it’s obvious that designs for homes will have to change in the future.  As space becomes a premium, and housing prices climb, we will see new uses for the modern home. 

Marcus Dodson
editor & publisher
Tiny Houses?
There are Smaller, Energy-
Efficient Homes in Our Future