Home of 2015: Small, Green, and Casual

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently published the results of new research into what Americans are looking for in their next home.  The electronic survey — The New Home in 2015 — went to 3,019 builders, designers, architects, and marketing specialists, and 238 of the total pool responded.  From the responses, the NAHB determined that new homes will be smaller, greener, and more casual.

Smaller Home of the Future

Specifically, the new home of 2015 will be about 10% smaller than average at about 2,152 square feet.  This is driven by several factors such as need (not want) purchases, strict mortgage underwriting, an aging population, low appreciation expectations, and heating/cooling costs.

Greener Home of the Future

The average new home is very likely to have low-e windows, dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets, engineered wood components, and Energy Star certification.  It’s also “somewhat likely” to have added insulation, tankless water heating, solar water heating, and NAHB certification.  This home is unlikely to have renewable gadgets like small wind and geothermal or LEED certification.  (Keep in mind this is NAHB’s survey).

More Casual Home of the Future

The average new home is very likely to have a great room that combines the kitchen, living room, and family room.  It’ll also have a two-car garage, ground-level master, and a laundry room.  This home won’t have, according to respondents, four or more bedrooms, three or more bathrooms, three or more garage spaces, or anything like a mudroom, dining room, media room, hobby room, or sun room.

What About Existing Homes?

The new home is competition for the existing.  Thus, by extrapolation, perhaps energy- and water-saving upgrades will do more for purchasers than other things such as indoor fireplaces and mudrooms.  Similarly, if your project contemplates an addition or revision to the current floor plan, consider the flow of the great room and whether extra rooms are necessary.  Forget lavish, ornate, and excessive; focus on efficient, open, and practical.

Do you agree or disagree?  What will the home of 2015 look like?

[+] View The New Home of 2015 Study.


  • http://benchmarkmodern.com garth

    Nice! I like what I am seeing. It’s about time!

  • Anne

    I completely agree with the trend to smaller, less expensive and more easily maintained homes. I think you’re wrong on the mudroom being left out of designs. As the overall footprint becomes smaller, mudrooms combined with laundry and lots of built-in storage will become a necessity!

  • http://twitter.com/EcoHomeStore Eco Home Store

    I do think that younger folks will do away with a lot of the formal rooms. I believe there will be more multi-purpose rooms. Not quite lofts but a hybrid of more traditional homes with loft-like qualities.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t wait to live in this kind of home.

  • http://www.portlandtradesmen.com Jesse Pender

    This sounds about right. I think one of the big things we can do to reduce the environmental impact of our homes is to keep in mind future trends. The majority of the remodel projects that I do are instigated by style choice rather than practical need. The more we understand design trends, the less building materials will be needlessly wasted. Thanks for posting.

  • Linda

    I agree with smaller, less formal, but the example floor plan can be improved upon.
    For one, I wouldn’t want to look at a toilet every time I travel from the kithen to the dining
    room. Small changes could really enhance live-ability.

  • http://monterey-window-cleaner.com/ Ross

    The difference doesn’t have to be dramatic – better still if it is, but just designing with a outlook toward passive solar can make a huge difference. People don’t realize what a difference it can make when they choose a designer that is ‘green’ oriented.

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  • Amy @ anestforallseasons

    I agree with everything except the mud and hobby rooms…moms will insist on these!!

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