The Timber Frame Home of the (Near) Future



In our last post, we discussed the changing nature of the garage as detached carriage houses evolved into today’s temple to the automobile. While the garage has evolved over the years and will continue to do so in the future, the rest of the house is not standing still, either. In the mid-1950s, most new homes were constructed for first time home purchasers, while today’s buyers of new homes are much more likely to be purchasing a second or third house. Resultantly, home sizes have also increased over the years. In 1973, the average new-construction home in the United States was 1,660 square feet. The size of a new home grew until 2007, when it peaked at 2,521 square feet. Since then, home sizes have fallen by about five percent, and in the next three years the average size of new construction is expected to fall another ten percent.


This reduction in home size is partly due to the economy, but changing consumer desires and needs are also part of the trend. A greater emphasis on energy efficiency and green living is driving some of the change, as well as a concern about growing energy costs. Many older homebuyers wish to retire in their homes, and purchase a smaller, more manageable house that better suits aging in place. In order to assess the changing trends in new home construction, the National Association of Home Builders recently polled industry experts for their opinions on which features would remain or fade away in homes built in 2015. Here are some of their findings.

Hottest Item: Ground Floor Master with Walk-In Closet


The experts predicted that the most common items in a future home will be a walk-in master closet. Along with the closet, a ground floor master suite is also in very high demand. Especially among older buyers who wish to retire in place, these two features can be very important when buying or building a home.

The Great Room Remains Great


With the reduction in size of new homes, the experts felt that the living room was the room most likely to lose space or be eliminated entirely. Over three quarters of those surveyed predicted that the living room would be reduced in size or disappear in new construction. Taking its place, the great room will become an even more common feature in future construction. Although previous generations preferred the more formal entertaining option of a separate living room and family room, the more unified great room concept fits well with current lifestyles. Since timber framed homes allow great flexibility in floor plan designs, our designers can work with you to realize your home vision, whether it has separate living and family rooms or a great room.

The Garage Remains, But Specialty Rooms Lose Out

art studio timber frame room above garage


The attached garage will remain relatively unchanged in the next few years, and a two-car garage will remain most common to match the size of the average family’s vehicle fleet. Similarly, the highly-functional home office will remain prevalent in new construction. Specialty rooms, like media rooms and hobby rooms, will become less prevalent in new construction in order to allow for a smaller footprint house. Of course the best thing about a home of the future, is that you can make it just the way you like.  Maybe you're into giant great rooms, and second floor master suites?  That's not a problem, and the right designer helps bring your vision to life while advising you on the resale potentials and trends in home design.  If you're looking to design your own home of the future, contact Timberpeg to get started today.