Just recently I have been working with several buyers looking to build a home rather than buy an existing one and be faced with renovations of some kind in the next few years. As we tour newly built brand new homes for sale to get a feel for likes and dislikes, new construction trends in 2018 are revealing a number of changes from the traditional expectations in a larger home. I wonder if they will stand strong against tradition or be a fad that fizzles. Trends can be started and fail or they can take hold. Tradition is a hard thing to go up against.
What is “The One” big new construction trend? Easy. New construction is back! Builders have come in line with cost expectations for new construction and it appears to me their profit margins have had to drop to do that. I have compared several new construction options for several buyers and they are very comparable to existing homes that have 1-5 years age on them. You might like to read my post is it cheaper to buy or build a new home.
Home buyers who chose the building path just need to be careful when adding those upgrades. They can quickly spiral out of control and blow your budget. Some of the following trends may help, less rooms means more upgrades! Consider the following when home building trends when budgeting.
New Construction Trends 2018
Here in Barrington our median house price is around $600,000 and for that you should be able to buy a 4 bedroom house, either in a village location or on an acre in the country communities of 60010. An average square footage of the home will be around 3,000 with extra living space in basements. Most of these homes will have a very traditional make up of living room, dining, room, kitchen, breakfast, laundry on the main level, half bathroom on main level, 4 bedrooms on second level with a master bathroom and 1 or 2 family bathrooms. The basement may be finished or unfinished and offers quite an array of things owners have done. Bars are common, TV rooms or great rooms, play rooms and often an extra bedroom and full bathroom.
The city of Chicago is busy. Homes are smaller. Although a huge advantage of the city is walkability it’s a trend for buyers now to move out to the suburbs and dream of a brand new home. This is a trend for 2018 I expect to see continue. It’s how the suburbs are growing.
New Home Sizes
In the last 5 years or so we have seen the trend towards smaller homes being the build standard. This appears to be reversing with 4,000 square feet being the sweet spot when building a new home. That’s bigger than a median home here in 60010. Ornate finishes are out, there is a lean towards more contemporary clean styling over the traditional styles. I believe this will fluctuate as we all have preferences. The two story home is the king of new construction in 2018!
Exteriors and Masonry
Home buyers get to a certain price point and they want the biggest upgrade of all. Brick and stone masonry exteriors and preferably on all sides. Depending on the neighborhood it may in fact me a mandatory requirement for all new builds. The idea being to control the look, feel and value of homes in the same subdivision.
The trend of masonry exteriors has been around for quite a while now but it is a costly upgrade. If allowed it may be better to have a brick front with stone accents and opt for a lesser costly exterior product for the remaining three sides. Hardie Plank siding, a brand name for cement fiber siding is a common product used now. This new construction trend is here to stay. It is superior for use over cedar plank siding because it requires less maintenance. It is painted and should last as long as the paint and then needed repainting. Cedar plank needs bi-annual care or re-staining.
Cement fiber board is extrremely hardy and lasts for years. It can be painted in whatever color you like. Consider this option and put your money into upgraded finishes inside a home instead.
Tall, Tall, Tall Ceilings
Over the years the human race has become taller. In the past rooms were 7 1/2 to 8 feet tall. Now we all expect 9 feet as being an acceptable minimum. New construction is usually a minimum of 9 feet on the main level but buyers are opting to go the extra foot and get 10 feet. This is an upgrade cost in a new house and you should check to see what your builder is offering as standard and find out the additional cost. I think this trend is here to stay!
With the extra height appealing to most of us it stands to reason that higher ceilings are desired on second levels. 8 feet is often the standard now. Basements in our larger homes have become the place for family rooms, whether it’s a TV room or theater, entertainment space, bedrooms for in-laws or just another hangout room, we are spending more time in our basements than ever before. Therefore we want higher spaces and 9 feet or even 10 feet is desired. Just mind the cost and choose which area you want to spend your dollars on.
Is The Demise of a Two Story Family Room Real?
In recent months I have toured many new construction homes and the trend appears to be the removal of a second story family room in favor of additional living space. Two story family rooms always added height to the main living area in a home. Now we are trending to 10 foot ceilings I guess we don’t need that lofty feel.
One disadvantage of two story family rooms is that noise travels up from the family room to bedrooms upstairs. Depending on the makeup of your family this may be quite an annoyance.
I am seeing new construction homes that offer either a two story family room or more living space upstairs. It allows for a 4 bedroom home to easily become 5 bedrooms, or a large loft area can be created for all sorts of ideas. TV room, kids play area, homework stations, hobby area, reading space. For the most part it is easy to change a loft space into a closed room or vice versa. Just bear in mind how many bathrooms there are and the location. You may end up with a 5th bedroom and no bathroom to use if done at a later date.
My opinion os the two story family room will not go away but 50% of buyers may opt for the extra useable space.
No More Dining Rooms
How many times do you use the formal dining room? Is it Thanksgiving and Christmas only? Smaller homes may only have one eating area but our larger homes in Barrington usually have a breakfast room as well. I have seen many home plans now that completely remove the dining room and opt for larger breakfast/dining areas next to the kitchen.
I have a feeling that this will have a hard time against tradition. If a home’s footprint has the space for a dining room, it’s going to stay. This perception is coming from my buyers who so far want one. Even though it may only be used a few times, many of you have larger family gatherings at holidays, birthdays, weddings and the dining room allows for more than one area to eat and entertain.
Formal Living Rooms Are Repurposed
Along with the removal of the dining room, the formal living rooms are being downsized into libraries or large offices. The left over square footage is being used in larger family rooms and that extra sized breakfast area. Larger family rooms are certainly well desired and I don’t think it will matter too much to buyers to not have a formal living room.
Buyers certainly want an office, many of us work from home and these rooms are getting bigger. Libraries are wanted by some for a reading room. Who knows in these mid level homes in Barrington, the formal living room may have seen it’s last days, especially if new construction trends continue to remove them. I believe they will always remain in luxury homes.
Side Located Staircases
For me this is a very welcome change in the way homes are being built. Instead of the traditional staircase that you see as you enter a home, staircases are being moved to a sideways access from the center of the house. This means they are less of a focal point now and more of a functional part. You’ll benefit from an open foyer to great guests.
I am also seeing the double bridal staircase disappear. Families prefer a staircase in the front of the house and another at the back somewhere rather than the grand bridal look. Another huge advantage is that your stairway to the basement does not divide up the house in the middle. This makes for a greater variety of plans for that additional living space below.
With a sideways located main staircase it’s easier to have open basement staircases, no door to go through. This brings a more open feel to the house. This is one of my favorite new construction trends and one I hope stays.
In-Law Suites and Nanny Quarters
Once we step up to the luxury market it’s a common request for these extra rooms in a home. Commonly on the main level they are usually just extra bedrooms and a full bathroom rather than a full apartment. Those are only available in the expansive square footage of really big homes. We are also seeing more multi-generational living. Millennials are staying at home longer and parents are coming to live with children.
Additional suites for these extra family members are hard to accomplish in the typical family home in Barrington. The luxury end of new construction with larger square footage can adapt and include these extras from the start. A good architect can help you find or draw a plan to work best for your family.
We all come from different heritages with different beliefs. Many new home buyers want a dedicated place for worship. Whether it’s a place for a small temple or just a separate space, the dedicated Puja room has become a popular addition to many new homes. While these rooms are not large they can be added to any level but are commonly on the main or second level. If your heritage has no need for a Puja, it’s a perfect room for kids playroom, homework desks or a TV game room, sewing room or other hobby room.
Using The Space Above The Garage
Our garages are usually attached to the house and can be front load or side load. With 3 car being common it provides a large area upstairs if the space is utilized. Depending on the house plan these areas can either be integrated into the plan and form part of the upstairs layout. I am seeing a lot of very large closets being created over the garage where the master bedroom is located nearby. I have also seen playrooms or upstairs theaters make use of the extra space.
Yet More Bathrooms
What is our obsession with bathrooms? Coming from England where our family of 6 lived in a house with one full bathroom and one half, I wonder now how we managed. You do get used to what you have. With 4 bedroom homes the new construction trend is to make sure every bedroom has a bathroom. Depending on the size of the home, two bedrooms often share a bathroom, they each have a sink area, the toilet and tub/shower are shared. These are know as Jack and Jill bathrooms.
Don’t Forget The Closets
Let’s just get bigger and bigger. New homes are providing walk in closets wherever possible. This is a new home trend I expect to stay.
Trends You Don’t See or Notice
New home construction trends 2018 include the foundation, and products that create the framework of a home. You may not know what’s used or even care provided it passes all inspections. There are some changes. 2 x 6 framing is becoming more common over 2 x 4. Engineering wood beams being used over all wood beams. Roofs being constructed on or off site, this depends on the builder.
There are always differences in the way each builder makes your house. We still use drywall because it’s an easier product to work with than plaster from the old days.
Doors are solid, it seems the cheap hollow ones are fading and thank goodness for that!
Kitchen and bathroom cabinetry are almost an automatic upgrade when compared to 10 years ago.
I think it’s a fair comment to say the standard new home specification sheet far outshines those of 10 years ago. We expect and are being delivered a more quality house.
Interior Colors for 2018
There are always trends in color palettes and for a long time the cream, taupe, beige color palette was what new builders painted; and for the most part every room was the same. Carpets were chosen to match and honestly were an awful choice because dirt shows easy and fast.
In 2017 we saw a shift in color palettes and home building design trends show the most used new home color for interior paint is now grey. Nothing too dark and still neutral. A spalsh of color on a single contrast wall has also become popular. It can make a room pop. Wallpaper is making a small comeback in this area too.
White kitchens seem to be back as well. Homes with islands get a darker contrast cabinet used as well. Bathrooms remain white tubs etc and showers are light tiles. Everything looks clean!
Your Dream Home Starts With a Lot
Unless you want to look at already or nearly finished new homes, you’ll need to decide on your location before anything else. Once a few locations are chosen you can find out about the area, schools, shopping, proximity to work and then fine tune it. After that it’s time to locate a lot. The choice may be limited in some areas, more choice in others.
An experienced agent can help you choose the right lot from new construction sites, based on your needs. We’ll talk with you about new construction site preparation as well. it’s common to need a well and septic system in Barrington. Some areas have city sewer and water. You may be able to wrap the purchase of your lot with your new construction into a single closing loan. You can contact us for help with financing your dream build. We have loan companies we know that do these types of loans. Not all lenders like to work in the new construction arena of house buying.
What Price For Large New Homes in Barrington?
Although our median price is $600,000 is more likely you’ll be spending around $800,000 to a Million to get new construction here in the Barrington area. Depending on the village you want to live in that price can soar. We have several South Barrington choices above $2 million and if you want a really large home on acreage, well the limit will be set by you.
The bigger the house and the more upgraded your materials are, the higher the price.
There are similar homes in the Kildeer and Long Grove areas. Your lot size can add more to the cost. Location is going to determine this.
Where Can You Buy or Build a New Home?
You can find new larger homes throughout all the Barrington villages. Consider Tallgrass or The Enclave of Heritage Estates in Lake Barrington. Kildeer, Long Grove and Hawthorn Woods, our neighbors, also have several options.
Ready to Buy New Construction?
If you are in the market to buy a new construction home in the Barrington area you have choices. There are some homes already built, a few new subdivisions and lastly lots for sale in varying sizes that you can have your dream home built by a builder of your choice. Contact Corinne at 847-363-3686 anytime. Corinne has been helping buyers understand new construction trends, home builds, lot selection, builder selection for many years and has built her own custom home in the Barrington area. She’ll gladly let you dig into her experiences and expertise along the journey. We are here to help you learn about the new construction home buying process and selection.
Contact us About Your New Home Dream
We hope you enjoyed our insight into residential construction trends for 2018. We love helping buyers with their new construction projects and custom home building.