Custom house building is hugely popular in the UK. You just have to look at the success of long-running TV shows like Grand Designs or George Clarke’s Amazing Places. What’s more, research from 2021 shows the market for self-build houses has increased significantly in recent years. In 2015, around 7% of new homes were self-built, but by 2019 self-build had reached 12% of the total. This is good news for custom house builders!
As this market grows and develops, it’s vital to stay on top of the trends, so your company can continue to meet customers’ expectations. Let’s look at 10 key trends in custom house building.
10 custom house building trends to watch
Here are 10 custom house building trends your firm should be aware of in 2022.
A new kind of customer
Traditionally, the kinds of people interested in a self-build house tended to be older and wealthier. However, today we are seeing a new kind of customer in the self-build and custom house market. In particular, we’re seeing a growing number of younger professionals who have discovered that they can work remotely. They can now afford to build their dream homes away from cities where land is cheaper.
New locations for custom houses
In parallel with the previous trend, we’re seeing people looking for custom house building in a wider variety of locations right across the UK. As long as people can get an internet connection, then they are free to build homes almost anywhere they can get planning permission.
Sustainability is an ever more important priority for homeowners today. Custom home builders are seeing a growing number of clients who want energy-efficient buildings. These are often made with sustainable materials (such as timber) and also feature things like solar panels.
Related: Considerations for building sustainable homes
Going big on natural light
Another big architectural trend in custom house building is the extensive use of natural light. People are asking for more skylights, floor to ceiling windows, and ‘through-views’, a feature which allows an individual in the garden to see through the building and out the other side.
Modular homes – ideal for fast custom house building
A growing number of custom house builders are now entering partnerships with modular construction companies. While at first, a ‘custom-built modular home’ might sound like an oxymoron, it is possible to use prefabricated elements within a custom-design structure. Architects can, for instance, design a highly unique home, but include a modular bathroom which is ready-made. This saves a significant amount of time and money during the construction phase.
Another trend that many custom house builders are seeing is for tiny homes. These structures provide residents with all the elements they need to live, without needing large amounts of land. Tiny homes can be built on site or be prefabricated, and are particularly appealing thanks to the low costs of construction.
Bringing the outside in
One of the most significant trends in custom house building has been the growing demand for designs that bring the outside in. During the pandemic and lockdowns, people began to realise just how important it is to be in touch with nature, especially for mental health. Clients are looking for designs which give them great views of their gardens and outdoor spaces, as well as sliding doors that allow them to step in and out without feeling a huge difference between the spaces.
Another interesting trend for custom house builders to be aware of is the growing taste for courtyard layouts. Inspired by North African and Spanish homes, courtyards allow owners to extend their living quarters around a central garden area. In this way, they can look out at their gardens from different angles, while also maintaining privacy from the exterior.
A flexible room is one that can easily be transformed to meet different purposes. Once again, this was partially inspired by the pandemic, when people suddenly began using their homes as offices, gyms, classrooms or even home cinemas! A flexible room design typically includes lots of open floor space – allowing for easy changes in use. Built-in cupboards, fold-out desks and wall-mounted televisions are other common features of flexible rooms.
One of the most interesting trends in self-build eco houses is the demand for various forms of communal living. Very different from ‘60s hippie communes, communal housing is particularly popular among older residents whose children have left home, but who still want to live around other people. Communal self-build houses might include a number of separate properties that have a shared kitchen space, lounge and dining areas. They can also include shared gardens where residents can spend time with other ‘communards’.
More trends: What is a ‘smart home’?
Challenges for custom house builders
Custom house building today faces many of the same challenges as the wider construction industry, including issues like:
- Major raw material shortages for things like timber, cement, glass, chemicals and metals
- Labour shortages
- Problems with supply chains, logistics and delivery
Of course, the sector continues to face many other longer-running challenges – from planning permission issues to customer communication, unexpected costs and tight budgets. Often, custom housebuilders have to apply the same creativity to running their business as they bring to house design.
Make custom house building easier with PlanRadar
PlanRadar is a construction project and resource management application which is accessible from desktop computers and mobile phones. The homebuilder software allows custom house builders to view 2D and 3D CAD/BIM models on their smartphones, allocate tasks, review progress and communicate with the customer, subcontractors and architect. By giving you a single place to manage self-build house projects, you can be more efficient and productive, while saving time and money.
To learn more about how PlanRadar can support your custom house building business, contact us for a demo today.