In 2020; lockdown resulted in millions of households turning their kitchens and living rooms into offices and classrooms; as we adapted to a new way of working often with the added challenge of homeschooling. This resulted in an influx of enquiries to architects and builders from homeowners for home improvements; ranging from extensions through to re-modelling of their existing home layout – but all with the same aim of achieving more living space.
The shift in family life Despite two previous lockdowns; research from an online retailer, Furniture and Choice, shows that 37% of people surveyed admitted they still don’t have a dedicated space to work from at home. Home Offices have become the most asked for home improvement with homeowners realising that they do not have enough room to meet their changing family and work needs. Buyer expectations have also shifted as more people plan to work from home more frequently. Gardens and proximity to outdoor space have also become a necessity for many buyers; meaning thousands have now moved out of the city into the countryside.
Working from home – the new normal? Now we are in Lockdown 3.0 and working from home and/or homeschooling are yet again the new norm for at least several months. The start of a new year is usually the time (in normal circumstances) when homeowners consider what they would like to improve about their homes during the next 12 months. Or it’s when they decide if they need to move home instead to be able to achieve their long list of home requirements.
Improve don’t move If you have not yet jumped on the bandwagon and are still trying to work out what you actually need to do to make your homework more effectively for you; then Building Tectonics is here to help. It is always hard to find your perfect home (unless you are stupidly rich) but it is not always the case that you need to move to obtain your dream home. Even when people undertake a self-build, they still don’t always achieve every little detail they would like or end up changing their mind several times as they go along. You often need to live in a house for a while to see how you utilise it – which has certainly been the case for us all over the last year.
What are my options? In most cases; extra family space can be achieved by either adding an extension (side, rear or front) or by converting your garage. Or you may be able to build upwards if you already have a single-storey extension (although this will obviously depend on the foundations of the current extension). Alternatively, an external pair of eyes in the form of an architectural practice can open your eyes to different options including re-jigging a few walls or changing a draughty conservatory to create a warm more permanent part of your home – whilst also suggesting extra design features that you may not have considered or even thought possible. Look to the roof The biggest space in your home; which is often overlooked but can drastically change your home and how you utilise the other rooms; is the loft. In most cases, it is full of rubbish and by converting it via a number of different options; you can create one or several bedrooms up there, or if you prefer a children’s playroom, extra lounge or more importantly in these strange times – a home office.
Re-modelling your living space An alternative option either on its own or alongside an extension or loft conversion is simply to change the existing layout of your home to make the space work better for you. Many houses over the years had extensions added without any real thought for what is really needed and how the house would flow. Kitchens could have had extensions added to make a kitchen/breakfast room or a utility room; whereas some houses may have conservatories and sun rooms just plonked on. Whilst people envisage changing home layouts to be a massive upheaval; it is often not that difficult and can provide them with a house that meets their needs; rather than moving again and still not finding their ideal house or layout. Improving kerb appeal If you love the interior of your property but hate the exterior; this is also easily rectified. It can easily be updated from a tired and dated exterior to give it a modern ‘wow factor’ look; that not only makes it look like a brand-new house but also adds value to your property.
Future-proofing your home When planning any home improvements, it is always a good idea to consider changes in technology and new inventions that could help you and your home. Smart homes are becoming more popular; as homeowners look at ways to make life easier and control devices around their homes at the touch of a button or a voice command. Home automation can include clocks, speakers, lights, doorbells, cameras, windows, window blinds, hot water heaters, appliances and even cooking utensils. Many of these options are not too expensive, but bigger options like advanced surveillance cameras require a more serious investment of time and money.
Make sure you plan ahead Although we cannot predict the future (as we have seen over the last 12 months); all we can do is try and plan ahead as much as possible when it comes to our home improvements. When considering what you want to change about your home; try and see if the improvements would cover any potential future life events like having children or possibly elderly parents moving in with you further down the line. This way it will then save you both time and money in the future. How Building Tectonics can help With over 35 years of experience in re-designing, altering and extending houses; Building Tectonics aim to generate innovative and intelligent ideas that often achieve much more than the original brief. Our Chief Designer, Tony has extensive knowledge of what works design and build wise and often finds solutions to issues that builders may have with a client’s design thereby, finding a compromise that both parties are happy with.
If you are thinking 2021 is the time to improve your home; please contact us to arrange a time to meet with you and conduct a feasibility study to find out what your initial needs are. From there we will come up with some initial schemes to make your home layout work more efficiently for you and your family. We always aim to leave you with a house that is designed for a modern family lifestyle and even if your requirements are just a simple home extension or a loft /garage conversion, you too could benefit from our expertise and experience.