When the Associated Designs staff tallied the results of our 2009 Home from the Heart Survey, it wasn't surprising to find that families wanted to spend about $30,000 less than last year for about the same square footage. Money is tight, but dreaming hasn't downsized.
Several months ago, Associated Designs asked our readers to choose the features and layout they envisioned in their ideal home. Readers like you from all over the United States and Canada took part in our 2009 Home from the Heart Survey. Now that the survey results have been tallied, we're ready to share what we've learned. Taking it a step further, we've designed the Heartville, a home based on the survey results.
When it comes to exteriors, the ranch style home is nearly three times as popular as its closest competitor. About half want a one-story home between 1800 and 2600 square feet with a basement.
Across the board, people want more green building features, with advanced insulation topping the list. "Good insulation is very, very important," noted a woman from Utah. More than 40% want heat pumps, water efficiency, energy efficient design, advanced framing and increased use of recycled materials.
The woman from Wichita, who said she wanted a large kitchen open to the great room, echoed the sentiments of many. More than 90% prefer informal group living spaces or a great room, and 65% want their kitchen open to the larger room. As recently as ten years ago only half opted for the great room concept, while the other half wanted separated living, dining and family rooms.
This year, nearly 70% want a fireplace or woodstove, down from about 100% ten years ago. More than 60% want some outdoor living space. An Oklahoma woman noted that, "it's nice to be able step outside and enjoy the fresh air."
"Make room for work benches in garages. Men like them," wrote a Utah woman. And indeed, nearly 60% of the participants agreed, including a man from Kansas who noted, "I need shop space for equipment."
More than 80% want a main floor owners' suite that's well isolated from secondary bedrooms. That hasn't changed a bit!