By this time, it’s clear that things are never going to be the same again. This is the new normal. The Covid-19 Pandemic has brought with it so many things that have affected us in so many ways. Real estate is not left out of all the chaos caused by the pandemic.
No matter where you are in the world, one of the measures the majority of governments have put in place to combat the spread of the Corona Virus is to declare lockdowns. These lockdowns were unprecedented and have had a massive impact on relationship and family life. The full impact on the community, work, family, and their intersections are not yet known. But interesting and drastic housing trends are beginning to emerge. As you live in close quarters with other members of your family, sooner you’d find you all need your house to be a gym, a school, an office, and shelter in order for life to continue.
Since the start of the pandemic, it will be hard to find a family who haven’t undertaken some form of home improvement. It could range from major overhaul to cosmetic upgrades.
Below, we have put together some compelling reasons why you should consider upgrading or extending your home following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Compelling Reasons Why You Need a Home Extension And Upgrade
- More Family Members Living in The Home
One of the major results of enforcing lockdowns is that many members of the family have to spend the majority of their time at home. In fact, for a good number of us, we have spent more time at home in the last one year than we have managed in three years. More people in the home means less space. It’s one thing coming back home every day from work and it’s another thing staying indoors for the long haul. That’s when you begin to realise the limitations of your home in its current make-up. You then realise your home is not built for supporting 24 hours round the clock everyday life for all members of your family.
Even if you have enough bedrooms for each member of the family to have a good night’s rest, what about work offices? Can the engineer or the painter get work done working from home? Having more members of the family at home constantly may not only highlight the insufficient space in your home but may also expose areas you need major upgrades to existing amenities.
- You Are Working from Home For Foreseeable Future – You Need a Home Office
If there’s one thing the pandemic has made abundantly clear to all – it’s that the workplace as we currently know it is going to change forever. It has been one hell of a year for all of us! With working from home now supported by almost every employer (they have to, really), the least you can do is make sure your home is conducive and comfortable enough to ensure a productive work life.
It’s time to make yourself at home. You need a home office, in essence. You have quite a good number of options to choose from. First, you can make better use of the current spaces around the house. Getting an architect to come and evaluate your space is just about the best point to start. Having a professional perform a rearrangement and decluttering of your home can free up extra space you never thought was possible. Secondly, you may opt for an extension to the house to be used as a home office.
Generally, we think a home office is something that has been gravely overlooked and undervalued for far too long. A home office is an asset. Something we believe buyers would demand before they move forward with a home purchase in the not too distant future.
- Following Covid-19 And Home Workouts Becoming More of a Thing, You’d Like to Build a Gym.
Following the pandemic, the reality is that working out at home may not always be possible. So many people were unable to enjoy their expensive memberships with their favourite gyms. For those people who see working out as a lifestyle, it’s hard to accept defeat and suddenly stop keeping fit. Since going outdoors is not an option, you’re left with making use of what is available in the home.
However, you rarely have suitable space ready for an in-house gym. Hence an extension is added to homes mostly to increase the available space. But following Covid-19, you could do something special for your lifestyle by upgrading or extending your home to include an in-house gym.
What Type Of Gym Do do You Want?
When you discuss with your architect about adding an extension, it will be better to discuss with your architect the type of workout exercise you need for you and your family to keep fit and stay healthy.
The space you will need for a gym is largely determined by what it will be used for. Generally, fitness equipment is often very heavy. So, it’s very unlikely that you’re going to be able to clear up the area for other activities by moving equipment. Hence, it’s going to be very difficult to combine a yoga exercise area that can accommodate a large number of participants and also double as a weights area.
In general, you can create a home gym either through extending, into the garage, for instance, or remodelling your home. You’re somewhat limited as to where to put the gym. A garage or a garden are two suitable locations. However, the attic is probably not the best idea in this.
- You Want to Update the Old Layout to Modernise Your Home
As we have stated earlier, staying indoors for many hours exposes the limitations that exist in your home. After an event like Covid-19, then it is almost certain that the consumer and seller’s market will see some drastic changes.
Over the last few months, homes have been transformed into offices, schools, gyms, spas and more, as people shelter from the perils of the pandemic. In response to all these massive lifestyle changes, buyers and tenants occupying houses demand home upgrades that are per the present reality of normal living.
That’s a good number of people who have listed a zoom room or home office as one of the top priorities when looking for a home to purchase. Some tenants have said they would consider moving to a larger space if remote working becomes more prevalent moving forward. Nobody enjoys working from a kitchen table.
Also, with lots of time and nowhere to go but stay indoors, homeowners have had to be creative to come up with ways to relax and play sports right at home, and no, we are not just talking about game rooms now. We are talking about creating a luxury experience right there at home. Think about extending your home to accommodate a swimming pool for example. If people can’t go on vacations anymore – for the time being at least – they can have a “staycation” right here at home.
- Daylight and Lighting is More Crucial Than You Think
When you spend all day indoors, it’s you quickly realise that the position and size of your windows are more important than you think. As humans, in 24 hours, we go into different moods from the beginning to the end of the day. Your lighting choices can make or break a room’s design and mood, never mind what it is you’re using the room for.
When we inspect a home as we normally do before performing an upgrade, one of the first things that we evaluate is the lighting. Not all chandelier and lamps should be sized the same. They only make your eyes wander around without attaining visual clarity when necessary.
For large spaces such as a dining room or family room where presumably, you’ll be spending much of your time at home, a chandelier makes perfect sense because it allows it makes a great focal point in the room. As for smaller rooms, you’d want to have the opposite – opting for a floor lamp or 19th century styled sconces provides the eyes with much needed visual clarity when locating the subject of the room.
Repair Old Building Works and Improve BER/Energy Rating to Reduce Bills
When you spend so much time at home, you’ll have many reasons to use energy, whether for work or pleasure. Energy-saving practices like turning off lights when not in use or heating warmer water won’t cut it if you’re going to be in the house 24/7. If you want to see serious improvements in the energy efficiency of your home, you’ll need to go beyond lifestyle changes. Hence, you’ll have to consider major and minor home upgrades or improvements to corrects defective features and appliances of the home.
Luckily, there are numerous energy-saving practices you can undertake, depending on your capacity, to improve the overall energy rating of your home.
What is a BER?
BER stands for Building Energy Ratings. A BER indicates the energy performance of your home or building measure on a scale of A to G. With A represents the highest BER score and G the lowest.
A BER certificate is issued after your home has been assessed by a registered BER assessor. They are numerous benefits associated with scoring a high BER Energy Rating. First, it makes the said property attractive for buyers looking to purchase a home. Also, it’s an important document necessary for obtaining home improvement grants, such as those offer by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)
You can solicit the help of a BER contractor to advise you on the necessary changes that you can carry out to make your home more energy-efficient.
We have highlighted some of those home upgrades and improvements you can make below:
- Repair or Renovate Your Roof: Your roof is the first layer of your house, exposed to the brutal seasonal weather changes from the hot summer sun to the freezing temperatures of the winter. If your roof is older than 15-20 years, maybe it’s time to replace it. If you’re experiencing leaks or cracking it may be too late and already contributing unnecessarily to your energy bills.
Upgrading or replacing the roof will allow your architect to install better energy-saving roofing sheets that better reflect sunlight and heat away from your house rather than absorb it. This naturally keeps your house cooler, so you don’t have to expend a considerable amount of energy running your air conditioning system. Even if you decide not to replace the roof, your architect can add a cool roof coating to help reflect heat.
- Upgrade Your Insulation: to reap the benefits of installing a roof cooler or replacing your roof, you need to have a good ventilation system to truly make your home energy efficient.
To begin, make sure all areas of the home are properly insulated. Get an architect to have a look at the property. The attic, walls, and basement are some of the most likely avenues where energy is lost in the home. This will help in keeping the cool air outside and the warm air inside. reducing your heating and cooling, improve the overall functionality of your home and save you a substantial amount in utility bills.
- Upgrade Your Appliances:
Over time, the wear and tear suffered after so many years of using an appliance reduces its efficiency. This result in energy wastage as they now require more energy to perform the same job as before. Now the life expectancy of every appliance in the home as they become less energy efficient towards their end.
Fridges, air conditioners, water heaters, washing machines, and dryers are some of the most energy-consuming appliances in the home. Hence, start your upgrading effort by replacing some of them before they come towards the end of their lifecycle.
Make Better Used of Your Garden Space
If you’re running into a shortage of space and you have a dedicated garden in your home, you should consider extending into the garden. No need for taking other extreme measures like moving simply because you’re out of space. A traditional garden is likely big enough so you can accommodate virtually any room into it.
It starts with drawing up a plan with your architect. Adding an extension can offer great flexibility because the converted space can be used as a home office, an additional bedroom, a lounge, a spa, a game room, etc. Crucially, your architect not only ensures that everything is built according to standards and fit for purpose, but they will also make sure building regulations and procedures are adhered to strictly. They will also help you with the process of obtaining planning permission if need be.
Home Improvement is a Worthwhile Investment
The needs of home buyers, like every other commodity, is determined by personal choices, trends, and other external factors affecting the market. In many ways, the single prevalent factor shaping the real estate market today is the fallout emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic.
If you plan on selling your house in the future, the closer you bring living in it in tune with the realities of everyday life in a global pandemic era, the more valuable it will be in the market. That makes home upgrades and improvements a worthwhile investment move. Buyers would prefer a home where they have to make little or no renovation before it can be ready for remote working. They’d prefer a playing and learning area for the kids because schools are closed. They’d hope no further money needs to be invested before the property’s BER Energy Rating can be improved.
Whether you’re using the property yourself or looking to sell, you get enormous benefits from upgrading and improving your home in line with the demands of a pandemic era.