Trends in the construction of urban and suburban houses in 2021
When choosing a project for a future home, there is always a question about the latest trends in residential construction. And it's a valid question because modern trends go beyond just the facade style or interior design. Innovations also focus on practical aspects such as durability, energy efficiency, eco-friendliness, ease of maintenance, and living comfort.
Higher or Lower: What Floor Should You Build?
ВThe question of the number of floors is fundamental when choosing a house project. It determines the construction cost, timeline, and even the building's exterior appearance.
For over 10 years, single or two-story house projects have been popular, and this trend continues in 2021.
The choice of floor height depends not only on the homeowner's preferences but also on the following factors:
- Size and shape of the plot: For smaller plots, two-story houses (or a ground floor and two full floors) are preferable. Such buildings have a relatively small footprint, allowing for efficient land use. If the plot is large, flat, and has a regular shape, it's possible to build a 2-3 story cottage or an expansive single-story building.
- Budget for foundation, wall construction, roofing, and utilities: Using materials with similar costs, it is significantly cheaper to build a turnkey single-story house.
- Comfort and ergonomics: If the residents will include small children or elderly individuals, options for 2-3 story houses with stairs are often ruled out.
Even without considering technical details, the most popular choices are still one or two-story houses, or compromise solutions like a single-story building with an attic or a basement. Projects for such houses are in demand regardless of the chosen construction materials.
Extravagance or Comfort - in Demand Area of Low-Rise Houses
More and more people are choosing houses built according to their own taste and selected project as an alternative to noisy and cramped apartments. The global pandemic has significantly fueled the demand for private housing among city dwellers.
For a long time, there was a belief that the bigger the house, the better. However, this axiom is not entirely true. While it is important to have comfortably sized rooms for permanent residence, "empty" space has ceased to be a trend.
Since 2015, potential homeowners no longer consider impressive buildings with many "unnecessary" rooms that they can easily do without. In 2021, the same trend continues: when building houses, projects without billiard rooms, gyms, separate theaters, or swimming pools (in the case of luxury properties) are preferred.
Outdoor jogging and workouts at fitness centers, watching the latest releases at city cinemas have become a very comfortable norm for most people. As for swimming pools, it also entails significant cost savings as their maintenance, including water purification and heating, is an expensive pleasure.
For many years, low-rise houses with an area ranging from 110 to 350 square meters have been a priority. This is sufficient for the comfortable living of a family of 3-5 people. Despite the presence of impressive multi-story buildings with private elevators and servant rooms, projects with relatively compact dimensions remain in trend. Since 2018, the prices of castle-like houses in the real estate market have significantly decreased, and the cost of such properties continues to decline.
Modern Wall Materials for Low-Rise Construction
If you look at a dozen private house projects, you will notice that construction materials that have been popular since 2012 are still in demand in 2021. Taking into account the climate peculiarities of the region, building specifics, client preferences, and possibilities, different wall materials with various parameters and properties are used:
- Brick: Ordinary, facing, ceramic, and silicate bricks are most commonly used.
- Blocks: Aerated concrete and foam concrete are lightweight materials with excellent thermal insulation properties (due to voids in their overall mass). Polystyrene concrete is a modern block with polystyrene bead fillers. Less in demand are expanded clay concrete and arbolite blocks.
- Round logs: Unquestionably popular classic material, but it is suitable only for log houses. Glued laminated timber is also used.
Modular Homes - a Fashionable Style Combined with Ergonomics
A spacious house that you can move into within a month - is it fiction? No, it's a reality that is growing in popularity every year. This is all about modular homes, which have been in demand in the USA and Europe for decades. And in our country, the demand for this type of housing is consistently high, as evidenced by hundreds of new projects commissioned in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.
Such housing is ideal for the temperate zone of our continent with a relatively stable winter climate. And considering the availability of innovative thermal insulation materials, these homes can be assembled in any region of the country.
Modular homes are assembled in factories based on the chosen design using frames and panels. Depending on the size of the building and its structural features, the assembly time ranges from 30 to 60 days. This period is sufficient for preparing the foundation and utilities.
Despite their relative compactness and simplicity, many modern architects create unique modular building designs. According to real estate market experts, considering the declining affordability of the majority of the population, these block-module homes will be in demand not only in 2021 but also for several more decades.
Choosing a Roof: Popular Roofing Materials and Structures
The roof is not just protection against wind and moisture. It is an extension of the house, and with the right choice of roofing materials and structures, the building acquires a finished appearance.
The type of chosen roof (truss) system determines the appearance of the future house's roof. While trends in house shapes and sizes are constantly changing, there are always popular types of roofs:
- Flat roofs: An ideal solution for modular homes, where the usable roof space is often used for terraces and patios. Flat roofs are consistently in trend, especially for houses in densely built urban areas. For loft-style, industrial, high-tech, and minimalist houses, green roofs, inverted roofs, usable roofs, or standard flat roofs are often arranged.
- Pitched roofs: This type of roof remains popular in the low-rise construction niche in 2020-2021. Depending on the height and area of the house, as well as its architectural style, commonly used roof types include single-pitched and double-pitched roofs, hip roofs, mansard roofs, gable roofs, and multi-gabled roofs. Designs of houses with such roofs are in demand for both urban and suburban construction.
- Rounded, arched, and combined roofs are less popular among developers.
As for roofing materials, for pitched roofs, the long-standing favorite is asphalt shingles with various textures, patterns, and colors. Natural and metal shingles, as well as slate roofing, are less in demand.
Classical or Open Space: Which Layouts Are in Trend?
Home buyers, just like urban apartment buyers, have high expectations when it comes to layout. Since 2020, there has been increased demand for cottages, houses, and townhouses with clear division of space into private and guest areas. In the case of a two-story house, the master bedrooms are located on the second floor, while the guest room and non-residential spaces are on the first floor.
In modern designs, there is an increasing tendency to separate the kitchen and dining area (if provided) or the living room. Such division is typically done for houses with an area of over 200 square meters. Space zoning using finishing materials, partitions, and furniture placement after moving in is also popular.
When designing the space, it is important to consider not only horizontal but also vertical planning, including ceiling height and the presence of multiple levels. According to building codes, the ceiling height in residential areas should not be less than 2.5 meters. However, modern house design dictates its own fashionable rules:
- In standard brick, block, and wooden houses, the ceiling height is typically 2.7-2.9 meters.
- Houses with an open layout often have higher ceilings, ranging from 3.2 to 3.5 meters.
- For certain architectural styles, low ceilings are intentionally created, which are suitable for frame houses and sometimes modular constructions (with a height of no more than 2.30 meters).
Trendy Glazing for Private Houses
The trend in 2020-2021 is panoramic windows, allowing for ample light and a sense of spaciousness. Such glazing is not only stylish and modern but also highly practical, as high-quality windows are energy-efficient. When properly calculated and selected, these windows help maintain coolness in summer and warmth in winter.
In addition to windows, there is an increasing demand for projects featuring one or more walls made of glass panels, and in some cases, high-quality panels serve as both sliding doors and partitions. New products in the glazing market include parallel-sliding doors and windows with AST-system, PVC skylight windows with heat recovery option, energy-efficient glass partitions, lift-and-slide systems, reinforced sliding structures, and more.
Modern Trends in Facade Finishes
The facade is the face of a house. It may sound cliché, but it truly reflects the importance of the external finish of an urban or country house since it is the facade that catches the attention at first glance.
In 2021, several styles and forms remain relevant in facade design:
- Simplicity and conciseness: Many contemporary architects and homeowners believe that beauty is found in simplicity.
- Abundance of glass and light: Panoramic windows, partitions, and doors are functional and add a special charm to modern-style homes.
- Minimalism without decorative excess: Clean and sharp lines, calm tones, and strict forms make the facade of a house more appealing and disciplined.
- Combination of materials: Some facades combine seemingly incompatible materials such as concrete and plastic, wood and metal, stone and decorative plaster. This combination perfectly complements modular buildings, houses in modern or industrial styles.
Energy efficiency and safety are always in trend
The global trend of creating environmentally friendly and energy-efficient spaces in homes persists. Such solutions not only preserve natural resources but also significantly save on the household budget.
In an energy-efficient home, warmth is maintained during the transitional seasons and winter, even with minimal heating, thanks to the use of modern glazing, wall materials, and insulation. Utilizing solar energy as a source of electricity, applying quality insulation at all stages of construction, and installing vacuum glazing are guarantees of creating an energy-efficient house.
Passive houses remain a constant trend. By implementing the most advanced energy-saving technologies, the energy consumption of such a house is only 10% of a conventional building with similar parameters.
Significant investments are required to implement such measures, and the overall estimated cost increases by 5-9%. However, research conducted from 2012 to 2020 has shown that the payback period for such projects does not exceed 7-9 years. Homeowners who care about their comfort and the safety of their homes prioritize energy-saving technologies and natural materials.
Smart Home - Safe Home
Innovations and technologies for safety and comfort - that's how the smart home system was characterized at the dawn of its design and implementation. Today, in the era of rapidly evolving applications, devices, and gadgets, smart home systems have become a global trend.
In 2020-2021, the presence of such a system is already taken into account during the project preparation stages. The key aspect of a well-implemented smart home, is the adaptation of all devices to the homeowners' lifestyle and habits, with subsequent prediction of their actions.
Software developers for smart home systems offer the following:
- Securing the home with voice/face recognition locks, controlled drones with sensors to monitor specific parts of the building, and intelligent car alarms that send notifications to the owner's smartphone.
- Simplifying household management with control over product expiration dates, full analysis of purchases, and forecasting the replenishment period of the grocery basket, as well as synchronization of all household appliances and devices.
- Managing lighting taking into account the time of day, weather conditions, and the owner's preferences.
- Planning and monitoring workouts, doctor visits, and many other activities.
In 2021, the market offers technologically advanced solutions such as Smart Home systems from Redmond, Xiaomi, NooLite Mini Kit, Rubetek, Vkare Dual Network, and others.
Style and Design of a Private House
Each homeowner decorates their house in the style they personally prefer. This statement is true, but there are still modern trends in the interior design of private houses in 2021.
The interior design is often a natural extension of the style and color scheme of the facade. A growing trend of the past decade is the complete individualization of the interior of a private house, and the years 2020-2021 also follow this trend.
Modern design projects for houses of different sizes are carried out in accordance with the best solutions of renowned architects and designers. Today, several styles are very popular in the field of low-rise construction:
- Open Space: an ideal choice for those who value open space, abundant light, and sunlight.
- Universal option: interior design using metal and wood in monochrome or in several close shades.
- Bionic: an attractive and ambiguous style that embodies the unity of humans with nature. It is often chosen for the decoration of wooden houses or log cabins.
- Ethnic or country style: a colorful design solution for wooden and brick houses.
- Scandinavian and Japanese styles: a true understated classic that has been at the peak of design fashion for several decades.
Despite the fashionable trends, when decorating a house, it is important to consider the type and shape of the structure, architectural features, and personal preferences.