Greensheet Media


Single-Family Home Construction Trends 2018

It’s an architect’s job to ‘see ahead’ and recognize the emerging and incoming construction trends. In return, working with designers, builders and other professionals, they are able to provide guidance and creativity in the complex world of residential properties. Let’s find out what single-family home construction trends are anticipated for this year.


Single-family home buyers today

To put it short, younger generations are steadily becoming the most influential buying group today, for the first time emerging above the Boomers and the Silent Generation. When asked to give a 1-5 score to cohorts based on how likely they’ll buy a single-family home, the industry influencers gave:

  • 71 points to Silent Generation
  • 99 points to Baby Boomers
  • 62 to Millennials
  • 87 to Generation X


It shouldn’t be a surprise that the mature generation is the least likely to buy a single-family home, as when it comes to moving, people in their golden years are usually looking for downsized solutions. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, still have a significant purchasing power, but are being eclipsed both by Gen X-ers and Millennials looking to settle down. Influencers like Jeremiah Russel from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and Rogue Architecture believe that these young generations are primarily looking for smaller, single-family homes with flexibility to grow.


Most popular design trends

Through rating single-family home designs, influencers gave most points to energy-efficient designs, including those with passive features. The next in row are smart home designs, including virtually anything connective from smartphone-controlled heating and AC to a Wi-Fi video doorbell. Sustainability came third, leaving universal design and modular and off-site built homes far behind. Among their favourite architectural designs, Lisa Willard of Ashley’s Building and Construction chooses rustic with a touch of modern, while for Gary Smith of SafeHome Inspections it’s French with a steep pitch roof.


Most sought house plans

The survey respondents almost universally went for open floor plans, with the score of 4 or higher. Apart from the open floor plan which provides a lot of flexibility for homeowners, another popular layout is single level homes, running a length ahead of two-story designs. The once popular split-level layouts ended up on the last place. For George Bradley of AIA, the key concern in planning a single-family home layout in 2018 will be a ‘clear concise plan with effective adjacencies, maximizing light and air.’


Top-ranking home safety concerns

According to the industry pundits, the biggest safety concerns for homeowners, as well as features they’re looking for this year are those related to flooding and water damage. In this light, many homeowners regard mould resistance as a desirable trait in a new home. These concerns come ahead of many others such as heat, radon or electrical failure by more than 15%. The growing number of Millennial buyers with young children reflects 45% of influencers ticking childproof features as trendy.


Green, sustainable, energy-efficient

With designs incorporating natural light and additional insulation, single-family homes are becoming more energy-efficient. Rhett Jeffcoat of Randy Jeffcoat Builders, Inc. says that every client wants some kind of a green home for an affordable price. Adam Helfman of Hire it Done, on the other hand, says that when it comes to ‘green’ homes, the decision makers are still impacted by price. Among the six sustainable living trends, the most wanted is passivity, which is achieved through natural light, solar power and passive solar designs. Many Aussie homeowners choose to fine-tune their homes through energy audits, hiring professional electrician in Sydney to optimize their lighting, air conditioning and other home systems. These types of designs are particularly popular because they don’t affect the owner’s lifestyle.


Trends in outdoor space

Without doubt, the construction industry influencers have marked porches as the most popular outdoor feature in single-family homes. A significant number of homeowners also wanted a backyard or a garden that comes as a close second. Almost half of the survey respondents believe that hardscaping is an upcoming trend, as it gives the property a more manicured look along with significant energy and water savings. Water features, whether a pool or a landscaping pond, tag along at the end, probably influenced by the location.


Special function rooms

When given eight different special function rooms to rank by desirability, influencers gave home offices the highest rating. Reflecting the growing trend of working from home, a home office is by far the most popular type of special function room that young homebuyers want. Still, guest rooms and garages aren’t far behind, providing useful space for visitors and their cars. Jeff Japhet of Japhet Builders says that they add some kind of a game or media room to 90% of the homes they build.

It’s now apparent that homebuyers are becoming increasingly aware of trends and know exactly what features they want to see in their new homes. Still, trends are created by people, not the industry itself. For industry professionals, this means that they need to keep up with the latest trends to make better, more informed choices and stay ahead of their clients.

Will Sandford

Will Sandford is a Sydney based wood architect, blogger and contributor on interior design and ecology blogs. Besides that, he is also interested in home improvement combined with green technology. In his spare time, Will enjoys surfing and rock climbing. Connect with him on Twitter (