The future of self-build homes
We were recently featured in i-build magazine on this topic, and the content below has been taken from the feature – take a look at the full article here.
Getting your own home can sometimes be your biggest investment to date. Buying and maintaining a new-build home can be costly, with ongoing maintenance and renovations happening throughout the home’s lifecycle so that it still serves its purpose. People are after a lot more flexibility for their homes; they want to change the size of the rooms, add walk-in wardrobes to the bedrooms or make the downstairs completely open-plan.
Self-build homes are quickly becoming more demanded across the UK, with over 35% of people interested in starting their own self-build project. The need for homes that are built with the person in mind is becoming more saturated amongst home-owners, as more people seek the excitement and flexibility that self-build homes can offer.
What does the future look like for self-build homes?
Self-build homes can be more cost-effective to run than most people think. Through the use of MMC (modern methods of construction), self-build homes are able to be suited for the constantly changing weather conditions.
“Many houses in the UK are only insulated to keep the heat in during the colder months, however with the past few heatwaves we have found that homes need to be insulated to stay cool as well as warm,” Matt comments. Self-build homes use MMC, particularly timber frames, to achieve high levels of insulation and be more air tight. This means your house can stay warm when you need it to, but can also be cooler during the heat.
Cooling a traditional house down through the use of air conditioning can be a costly investment, especially considering the fact that you won’t be needing to use it consistently throughout the year. Matt continues, “Cooling down a house is not cheap to do and clients are already starting to ask about how they can look to keep their house cool. Many people have never had to think about this before, and it’s something that self-build homes are able to achieve without being extortionate.”
Besides the ability to keep your house at the right temperature for whatever season it may be, self-build homes encourage the flexibility of your own space. Free lower bearing walls grant people the freedom to change their space around them instead of committing to a new-build home that has restrictions.
Matt states, “The shells of self-build homes can be used forever. They carry the lifecycle of a home and create space that is far more adaptable – which is something that makes modular style of builds so attractive. Our homes are usually dictated to us, we are given a layout of an already built home and can only change the interior, or choose where we want the location. Self-build homes give you back that freedom and flexibility. You can have a home that is fully personalised to you; your wants, needs and dreams.”
The future of self-build homes is built on the foundations of letting your home evolve with you. Whether that be the season around you, the costs of energy and utilities increasing, or the purpose your home has to serve.
How can we predict what the future looks like?
Most of the ideas and thoughts regarding the future of self-build homes are not new. Passive style of houses and builds have been around since the 1960’s-70’s; with modular style houses being built in countries like Canada, where their weather throughout the seasons can change drastically. Taking a look at the homes that are still predominantly being built across the UK just goes to show how behind we truly are.
“New-build houses are dominated by File-6 companies. These companies starve credibility and flexibility in the way that we can use our homes.” Matt explains, highlighting that many people in this current generation are more interested in modern technology, “People are more interested in how flexible and cheap their homes can be, with many clients coming to us now and asking about renewable energy and a gas boiler, or if they can have solar panels on their roof. It used to be a case of people wanting the most high-tech systems and appliances in their homes, but now it’s how to make their house as sustainable and economical as possible.”
It is the people who are looking to start their own self-build project that are becoming more open to these types of suggestions. New-build homes are using outdated technology, which is becoming less and less appealing to homeowners.
Matt continues, “The way that self-build homes are being created and designed is becoming healthier for us to live in – if you strip back the house completely what are you left with? Self-build homes tend to avoid wet-trades when being constructed, instead we opt for materials and processes that are going to increase our carbon footprint. We can create self-build homes that are fancy and overloaded with technology, but that’s not what people want or need anymore. The future of self-build homes is leaning more towards sustainability, flexibility and being fully tailored to someone’s future.”
People are beginning to be encouraged by the idea of building their home, with the percentage increasing over the past years. The freedom and sustainability that a self-build home can grant you is something that more and more people are wanting, especially with the factor that self-build homes are designed with people in mind.