21st century features for 21st century homes

Building and developing homes and houses is one of our greatest skills and traditions. Providing homes for families and professionals can be very rewarding, not just financially, as it also offers a personal reward that comes from building someone a place to live.

The twenty-first century has brought a number of technological advances to the world, and high-tech home improvements have been among them. Just about every aspect of a home can now be planned with technology in mind that will add value and desirability to the home, as well as offering the homeowner convenience and energy efficiency.

It is hard to begin planning a new home or developing an existing one without considering some of the latest gadgets on offer. It’s not just about gadgets though, with some of the best high-tech for the home changing the way we heat or power our houses and saving money and the environment along the way.

In this quick guide, we are going to take a look at some of the most exciting and sought after twenty-first century home improvements, and what they have to offer the home builder and developer. With the right editions to a house, you can future proof a home for generations and make sure that the building brings its inhabitants convenience as well as energy efficiency and savings on bills.

Solar Panels and Home Battery Packs

A home’s energy demands are an important factor to consider when developing or building a home. Many people are now looking to solar panels to augment a home’s energy supply and using home battery packs to store solar energy that is harvested through the day.

There are a number of solar options for the home, with the latest solar panel technology integrated into roof tiles, giving a home a more normal presentation while still having solar energy production installed into the roof.

All solar panels reduce a home’s energy consumption considerably, and when paired with a home battery system, they can power a house day and night. The advances and efficiencies that have been made in home solar in the past decade have had some solar panel owners reporting that energy companies now pay them for energy.

Often, on very sunny days, a home’s solar panels can produce more electricity than a home can use or batteries can store, and this excess is then sent to the national power grid. Getting a cheque from an energy company, instead of a bill, is a great unique selling point for a home to have and is one of the reasons that homes with solar panels generate so much interest when they hit the market.

Make a Home Smart with the Internet of Things

More and more electronics are becoming connected together and controlled by apps, creating the internet of things. This new standard in consumer electronics, called IoT, allows electronics in our homes to be easily controlled or programmed from smartphones or computers.

The kinds of things that can be utilised in this way range from simple things like light switches to more complicated electronics like the thermostat in a home heating system or a refrigerator. Having light switches that can be programmed in this way doesn’t just offer the convenience of being able to turn the lights on and off from an armchair; you can program the lights of a whole house to operate at certain times or pre-program set lighting scenes to change your whole homes lighting at the touch of one button.

This feature can also be useful for security, allowing holidaymakers to operate their home lighting as if someone was at home, as IoT enabled devices can be controlled over the internet from anywhere in the world. Devices can also work together, so with an IoT home alarm system and an IoT enabled doorbell, a home can be monitored while its owners are away and if there are any callers or suspicious activity the home will alert them.

Heat Pumps and Heat Recovery Systems

Another fantastic feature for a twenty-first century home is a heat pump for the home’s heating system. Heat pumps use heated air or water to heat a home with remarkable energy efficiency.

Heat pumps that use thermal heat from the ground are incredibly energy efficient and will often use underfloor heating to distribute heat around the home, which is also a very environmentally friendly way to heat a home, regardless of the heat source.

Other heat pumps heat the air in your home and carefully regulate the air temperature to maintain a steady and even temperature from the least amount of energy. Can heat pumps give you great value for money? More and more developers think so, with the amount of heat pump installations rising every year. When compared to the cost of a new hot water boiler or air conditioning installation and their energy consumption, the long-term savings offered by heat pumps make them an obvious choice.

Insulation and Energy Efficient Windows

Modern technology has even found its way into insulation and windows, with the latest production techniques offering developers and builders higher quality windows and insulation than ever before, at low prices.

New manufacturing technologies, and advances in installation methods have revolutionised home insulation. One of the most popular methods of home insulation now uses small micro pellets made from recycled plastic to fill cavity walls with a thick layer of damp-proof insulation quickly, and with little mess or fuss. Most loft insulation is also made from recycled materials, with glass and plastic often being used.

Energy efficient windows are now also made from mostly recycled plastic, and modern designs have made them simpler than ever to install, and even more insulating. Having modern windows is one of the first things modern home buyers look for, and if a property does not have energy efficient windows, it will often get overlooked.

Health and Leisure Features

A very desirable feature in properties today is space for health and leisure pursuits. A home gymnasium used to only be a room found in expensive mansions of the super wealthy, but now more and more homes are having a room in them dedicated to fitness.

This can come with hidden advantages for the builder and developer. One of the most highly desired features for a home fitness area is an adjacent shower room, giving the homeowner a place to cool down and clean off after a gym session. This makes the space easily adaptable into an extra living space for future development. Over time as trends change a home gymnasium may not be a sought-after feature like it is today, but with a little tweaking, a large room with an adjacent bathroom can easily become a self-contained living space to rent or a new master bedroom with an en suite.

It wasn’t long ago that the home office was king and it was expected that every new home would have a small space for a desk, a computer, and a chair. Now times have changed, and our home office is in our pocket on our smartphone. The space that people are looking for in their home now is for much more active pursuits like cross-trainers and treadmills, and any developer or builder should consider making space in their project for a home gym.

Get Connected with High-Speed Fibre Internet

Very quickly, the supply of high-speed internet to a home has become as important as the supply of water. Many existing homes will not have been made with wi-fi or broadband in mind, and some may have been built before the telephone became a concern.

When redeveloping an old home, or building a new one, making sure the property has access to high-speed internet has become a crucial factor to consider, especially if you want to make the most of the Internet of Things.

When installing new electrical and plumbing systems to a home, it is also worth upgrading or refitting its telecom network. Installing new connections for fibre optic internet in the home is recommended to ‘future-proof’ your project, and it is a good idea to add connection points in bedrooms and living spaces to allow its inhabitants to connect to the web if the wireless internet reception is poor in that area.

If you are developing a house or building a new one, it is important to consider what the latest technologies have to offer a home and whether they have something worth adding to your home. It is especially important to consider a home’s energy use and heating demands, and the impact any new home will have on the environment.

The right improvements can make a home desirable to a buyer and add value to its selling price. Making the right technology choices can give any builder or developer a great return on their investment and generate a lot of interest in their property. Whether it is solar panels or heat pumps, the right modern feature can give your property an edge over the others in the marketplace and get prospective buyers lining up to see everything your building has to offer them.