5 Ways Your Home Isn’t Working For You
Home should be a retreat and not just a roof over your head. Budget, location, and your age in life should not dictate whether you love where you live. For people who do not have their dream-sized home, the COVID-19 pandemic has made home life particularly uncomfortable. Without restaurants, movie theaters and other outings, and facing limitations on visitors, people feel stuck and increasingly dissatisfied with their home. In our conversations with clients, these are the five leading challenges people are finding with their home.
1. Underperforming Outdoor Space
A yard is more than a place to let the dog run around. For many people, being trapped at home means you want to be able to use every available space on the property. In addition to better landscaping, we are seeing an increasing demand for outdoor amenities. Pools, which had gone down in popularity ten years ago, are in high demand in Northern Virginia homes right now, and spas are a sought-after element. On a deck or patio, people want to have oasis cooking and eating areas that feature more than a barbecue. Poorly designed and under-utilized outdoor space can inhibit safe social gatherings, so people are particularly interested in homes with the right features.
2. Sandwich Generation Frustration
With the rise in multi-generational living, people are finding their home inadequate to accommodate parents and adult children who live with them. In addition to accessibility issues for an aging parent, the layout and functionality of the living spaces does not work for the added number of people. Without places to go safely, homeowners feel like everyone is piled on top of each other without adequate common and private spaces for comfort.
3. Outdated Study
For the past several months, adults and children have had to adjust to working and schooling from home. Instead of a single study, workspace has been needed for multiple people that is capable of telework, including video. The need is not going away since most Northern Virginia school systems are remaining virtual or going hybrid for the first part of the school year, and many employers are requiring or allowing their employees to work from home. The demand is high for redefined and reconceived rooms in the house to take the place of the traditional study. Dual studies are particularly appealing to the working adults.
4. Space That Gets Actual Use
Whether it’s a parlor reserved for guests who aren’t coming over, or a common area chopped up into multiple rooms, many homes have spaces that are inadequate to contemporary family needs. Comfortable gathering spaces with open flow between multiple areas are in high demand so that the family can gather to watch a movie while dinner is being cooked. At the same time every square inch of the home is being explored and thought given to converting unused rooms to accommodate the family living and working at home full time.
5. Low Maintenance and High Sustainability
People are concerned about the environment as well as ease of maintenance. They want materials that reflect these concerns, so they are looking to use sustainable materials like porcelain instead of marble, quartz instead of granite and engineered fiber cement instead of cedar. These alternatives are good for the environment and easier to maintain. Even though they are spending more time at home, homeowners do not want to spend extra time on maintenance and repairs.
What to Do When You Finally Get to Leave Home:
As we adjust to the pandemic and become more comfortable with safety protocols, many of us are planning to get away from home. We talked to Dan Lender of Golden Rule Home Watch & Concierge service about his recommendations for preparing your home when you leave. He had some helpful tips that apply whether you are leaving for the weekend or for the rest of the year:
• Turn off the water main.
• Check that all your doors and windows are locked.
• Turn on your alarm.
• Cancel mail, paper and other deliveries.
• Put lights on timers.
• Turn off/unplug unneeded appliances.
• Clean out refrigerator of perishables. • Leave non-staining cleaner in toilets
• Don’t cancel your landscaping (including snow removal!)
• Remove valuable items from the house, or make sure they are not in plain view of the windows
• Secure outdoor items in case of high winds
• Adjust thermostats – don’t turn them off!
Dan also suggests that you hire a home watch company, like Golden Rule, instead of leaving the care of your home in the hands of a neighbor, friend or family. Golden Rule will make regular, thorough inspections and report on the status of your home so you can relax and enjoy your time away. Safe travels! For more information, contact Dan at 855-928-2424.
At AV Architects + Builders, creating a home where you feel you are on vacation year-round is our brand, our mission, and our passion. We take feedback from homeowners unhappy with their current house and we design homes that fulfill all of their needs. Contact AV Architects + Builders for a consultation.