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Homes Which Reflect The Way We Live Our Lives

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It is fascinating to see how new home design has changed over the years, mainly to reflect how the way we live our lives has changed, writes Tony Abel. 

It is not so long ago that house builders would boast about the fact that they were installing TV points in bedrooms – once an unimaginable luxury.  TV was something which the family all watched together around one set, in the living room.

I have written before about how those of us who market new homes need to be acutely aware of a concept called ‘liveability’ – creating homes which are suitable for the changing lifestyles of today’s households.  And no one thing has had a bigger effect on our lives in recent years than the internet.

It is only 20 years ago that most people who were online had dial-up internet; going on the internet meant hanging up the telephone so that the connection could be made, after an age waiting and listening to those funny beeps coming from the modem.

Broadband changed all of that, especially when fibre optic cables came onto the scene, allowing undreamt-of download speeds and bandwidth, making true online living possible, across multiple devices in each home.

Except, of course, that this dream has not yet been fully realised.  Your road may have fibre to the local cabinet, but if the last few hundred yards are still via a copper cable, you will miss out on true super-fast broadband.  Even in the city you will find places where the fastest download speed is a measly 11Mbps – nowhere near enough to accommodate our growing appetite for data.

So it’s interesting to see that the government is calling for full-fibre broadband to be fitted to the door (known as FTTP, or ‘Fibre to the Premises’) on every new home built in the UK.  Of course, this will only be possible if the government themselves are prepared to invest in the wider fibre infrastructure, especially in rural areas, but the concept is a sound one.

As so often happens, the most prescient house builders are way ahead of the politicians here.  In two weeks’ time, over the bank holiday weekend, we will launch Hare’s Green, our new site at Watton, where we are building 98 new family homes.  This will actually be the fifth site where we have built in FTTP as standard; we spotted some years ago that this would quickly become a must-have feature on any new home.

People are rightly more demanding nowadays, and one of the reasons they buy a brand new home is that they can have all of the things which are essential to modern living, from house design which reflects contemporary family life, through energy efficiency (all of our new homes have been ‘A’ rated for some time now), to things which make life more convenient, such as powered garage doors, intruder alarms and under-floor heating.

Of course, not all house builders are as thorough, which is why the government is considering bringing in regulations to force fibre to the premises on new homes.  Those of us who understand how families live their lives today have no need of such legislation.