Though there is no way to know the future, our new home building advice is based on the theories of some of the brightest economists and sociologists. For more home building advice please see our free book, New Home Steps Planning Guide, and read the rest of our articles on the subject.
New Home Building Advice with an Eye towards the Future: The Future of Fuel and Electricity
In the relatively near future, fuel and electricity may be more expensive and more difficult to obtain. Eventually, with adequate research, fossil fuels may become obsolete some day, but not soon enough to avoid increasing scarcity and cost before that day arrives. Avoid the need for fossil fuels in your home. Solar energy and electricity are the obvious choices for heating and cooling in the current economy and increasingly in the future. Further, energy saving appliances, extra insulation to achieve a high R value and the use of your own solar energy panel system will make your new home a very profitable investment.
The use of insulated concrete panels, extra insulation, and even organic and alternative recycled materials can save on utilities, and building costs. Build for maximum energy efficiency, and durability. Avoid materials that require high maintenance. If you’ve got a choice between an exterior surface material that must be painted, or possibly replaced in ten or twenty years, or one that will last for centuries without work, choose the home that will last without extra work or expense.
The current trend is toward internet marketing, so that eventually if that trend continues, most purchases and other transactions will take place on line. There will be less travel, fewer trips into town, and more internet conferencing between businesses. Home based businesses selling goods, services and intellectual property, will eventually replace retail stores almost entirely. Already, it is the most profitable and risk free way to run a business. Staying at home more will require a higher level of comfort, and convenience.
Many economists believe the only solution for a post industrial society is the resurgence of cottage industries. Small home businesses that market on line, and perhaps locally, operated out of the home may be the way of the future. The option to create a home business would certainly be helpful in the current job shortage as well. Having enough room for a workplace, and extra storage within your small home, could prove to be important in the future. Whatever you do, you may be doing that from home in the future. Therefore you will need to have your own wireless internet network, office space, and perhaps other equipment to produce goods and services at home. Areas to do woodwork, sewing, arts and crafts, or other business ideas will become increasingly important as we find ways to compete in a global market by reducing overhead.
In the next twenty or thirty years the economies of the third world, new world and old world will equalize, so that once again we will all become consumers, as well as producers. In the short term this may be a difficult transition, but eventually it will be a very profitable proposition. In order to stay competitive we must create a sense of multiculturalism. When designing your home, consider the furnishings and lifestyles of other countries, in order to see future trends. Study how people in other lands utilize space more efficiently, and live comfortably with much less square footage. The best way to keep your home from becoming outdated is to look for the unusual in style and furnishing ideas from all over the world. Creating your own unique styling and trends will insure your unique and timeless style.
Many people feel that in the future people will live close together in tiny homes on tiny lots. This is the current trend. The trend also implies community resources, and community businesses. This trend is based on fuel shortages, and the resurgence of community, which has been sorely lacking in recent decades. It is possible that we do need more socialization, and that being near our neighbors and community resources may save money in the future. Another trend is the creation of a network of walking paths throughout America, which will eventually be an alternative to driving. Living near these paths, as well as near roads, might also become important in the future.
There is a divergent idea that remote rural locations, with plenty of room for solar panels, livestock and gardens, which could if necessary produce a self-sustaining lifestyle, may be better in the future. Which type of plan you choose will depend on your tastes and what makes you feel secure in a rapidly changing future, depends on your personality more than the validity of either theory. There is no right answer between these two choices, but either way it’s a personal decision based on your own best means of coping.
Keeping homes small and efficient is the current trend. Multi purpose great rooms are very modern because they are more efficient. Not only are they simpler to heat and cool, they are also a more efficient use of space. Extra storage areas and ample closets are going to be vital as well. Large living areas and small bedrooms, offer more flexibility. A home office, workshop or even a kitchen up to restaurant code may prove to be a way of making an income in the future. It depends on where your talents lay. How do you still economize on space? While creating a workspace as well as family space may be sensible it will drive up the square footage a bit, but your heated area should still come in at around 1500 – 2000 square feet.
When considering new home building advice for the future, it is best to go with your own dream and vision. The above ideas are based on expert opinions, but no one knows what the future holds. We ask that you simply consider the current facts and likely trends to decide how you would be most comfortable in the future. Our new home building advice is meant to make you consider future possibilities, not lock you into our plans.