Adapting to Your Home During a Pandemic

There is a newfound meaning to the saying “home is where the heart is” after being quarantined in our homes for three months. It has not only put our relationships and boredom-levels to the test, but it also opened many homeowner’s eyes to the functionality and space of their home.

When you moved into your home did you ever imagine being stuck in it with your family for three months straight? Neither did we but we saw it as a great opportunity to learn about how Genesis homeowners feel about the design of their home, how they adapted the space for what they needed and what they now would like to change after a closer look.

A survey was conducted over two months, asking current Genesis homeowners questions about their home. The biggest change during the pandemic, as expected, were more people had to work, exercise and entertain themselves at home. The two most helpful home features by far (around two thirds) during the lockdown have been having enough windows and light, and outdoor space like patios and decks.

A House Becomes a Home

What we’ve heard and seen from all homeowners is the challenge of creating versatile spaces within the house to accommodate more daily activities. In the survey, we found that finding a space to work, exercise and home school were the most popular.

  58% of respondents said the dining room or spare room has become an office.
  43% said their basement or space room has become a gym.
  About one quarter said the dining room has become a homeschool.

Is that how you adapted your home during the pandemic?

Based on the new uses and more time spent at home, we asked respondents what they would like to change about their house. The most important priority home modifications were adding an outdoor patio/deck space. Being inside can start to feel claustrophobic and a deck provides that escape outside and more room to spread out the family. Adding more general storage as well as adding another family space were also important for homeowners.

Homeowners who have kids at home, we found, are more likely to have their basement or living room become a gym and have their garage become a workshop. Accommodating more people in a house is already a challenge, but homeowners found they began to value windows, open plan kitchen/living area, and outdoor space.

What We Learned

Based on the findings that we’ve shared, we’ve learned a lot about how our homeowners have adapted to their homes and how the design of homes could evolve to accommodate more time spent in the house. The key spaces that we think bring value to home owners now, post-quarantine are:

  Return of the den for more flexible and functional space
  Deck/patio space as an extension of the home
  Craft room and storage area, who knew we would all develop more hobbies and skills in 2020?
  More family space
  Optimal number of windows to increase the amount of natural light

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