In recent years there has been a trend in housebuilding in the UK to build larger new homes with more bedrooms.
It’s a trend that has seen major changes in the house designs from our regions builders. One company who have certainly embraced these layout changes is Peter Ward Homes. The company’s Managing Director, Peter Ward takes a lot of interest in market developments and he had this to say about how they had affected his business.
“In 2010 there were 146,000 homes in this country with a total of 385,000 bedrooms, that’s an average of 2.6 bedrooms per home. In 2015 the average went up to over 3 bedrooms. What we are doing is building ‘family’ homes with more bedrooms. We have moved from the standard 2 or 3 bedrooms per house built to predominantly 3 to 4 bedrooms. Quite often the extra third or fourth bedroom is used as a Study or Guest Room. Whilst we still build 2 bed homes we don’t build anywhere near as many because there isn’t the demand anymore”.
“The industry is building a lot less flats as well, in fact over the same period half the number of flats were built. The flat is no longer a stepping stone onto the housing ladder, first time buyers are choosing to move straight into a house. The average size of new homes has increased by 15% since 2009. The average size of a Peter Ward Home is around 1050 square feet against a UK benchmark of 918 square feet”.
So how has this affected the design and layout of new homes. The housebuilders architects have had to take a complete new approach to the way they plan and arrange the living space in their houses. Peter continued “A good example of the new approach to how a modern house is laid out is the Kitchen, Dining, Day Room concept, where all three are combined to make a large living space that can be shared by all the family. You don’t have one or two people preparing meals whilst the rest of the family watch TV in the Lounge, this new space is the new “Living Room”. The Lounge, which we still include in the design of our homes, is more of a chill out and relaxation area, again for the whole family”.
And it doesn’t stop downstairs, upstairs the bedrooms have increased in number and things like En Suite facilities and Dressing Rooms have had to be accommodated. “Years ago” said Mr Ward “these sort of facilities were seen as a luxury in a new house, now for many of us they are pretty standard. En Suites are certainly included in our larger 3 bed and all our 4 bed house designs. In addition things like integral garages have given us more upstairs space and we have used this wisely”.
For their part builders like Peter Ward Homes is designing homes that suit the needs of the modern homeowner, whether first time buyers, families or those downsizing. And because it is difficult for existing older homeowners to incorporate these new layouts into their properties without major construction work there are a lot of people returning to buying new.
In summary Peter Ward had this to say about the future of housebuilding “Our company, and the industry as a whole, need to be acutely aware of the lifestyle changes that our customers want to incorporate into their homes. Our design philosophy reflects this, using more space, more natural light, making the garden area part of the home and raising the standard specification. There will be more change to come over the next decade and we are set to rise to the challenge”.