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arche_757

The Suburban Home: Reinvented

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Posted (edited)

I am curious what all of you feel are needed elements, and which are unnecessary elements of a suburban home in greater Houston circa 2030.

 

How would that home differ from what it is today?  What would you change about the house? yard? street? neighborhood?

 

This is just an open discussion on the suburban home of the future.  There is no right or wrong.

Assume the following: Houston has continued to grow (9 - 9.5 million), weather is still a major concern, and the urban areas of town are booming..

Edited by arche_757

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Obviously we need to design with a clear mind when it comes to potential for weather.  I think we need to design homes with greater resiliency for the weather - any weather.@

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Posted (edited)

One of the things that's annoyed me about the newer homes that my uncles (two different uncles, two different houses, though admittedly only one is actually in the Houston area) have bought is high ceilings. They're hard to clean, they make heating and cooling more expensive, and they destroy the warm, intimate feeling that I feel like houses are supposed to have. This was in stark contrast to the houses they both used to have, which were darker with lower ceilings, and more interesting floorplans.

Edited by IronTiger

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High ceilings have their place - they tend to feel cooler than lower ceilings without air conditioning, and they work better for public spaces.  Of course, neither of those apply to your own bedroom in a house in Houston - it's going to be air conditioned, and it's unlikely you're going to have hundreds of people there at once.

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Mueller in Austin is a pretty good model for what needs to happen on a neighborhood level.  Integrate single family, town home and multifamily.  Eliminate yards and pools in favor of having everyone in close proximity to large parks and pools.  The parks double as drainage detention/retention.  No separation between residential and retail so everything is in walking distance.  

 

As for the house, the whole "open concept" BS has to end.  It is a massive waste of space, especially when you have a living/dining area that has a two story ceiling. Most 3500-4500 sq ft suburban homes can be cut down to 2000-2500 by putting in walls and getting rid of open concept kitchen, living and dining room.  With zone HVAC systems, you can really cut down on energy use if you put walls back into houses.  Also, you actually save space with walls because people can put in more case pieces and built-ins to keep their stuff.  Everyone I know with the open concept thing cannot park their cars in the garage because that is where they keep all their stuff.  

 

Landscaping needs to be native and with flood control in mind.  Plant prairie grasses in bioswales to soak up water during heavy rains.  And build pier and beam houses that let water flow under the house during heavy rains.  

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I think people should be able to build/buy whatever type of home they prefer. Crazy concept, I know.

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4 minutes ago, s3mh said:

As for the house, the whole "open concept" BS has to end.  It is a massive waste of space, especially when you have a living/dining area that has a two story ceiling. Most 3500-4500 sq ft suburban homes can be cut down to 2000-2500 by putting in walls and getting rid of open concept kitchen, living and dining room.  With zone HVAC systems, you can really cut down on energy use if you put walls back into houses.  Also, you actually save space with walls because people can put in more case pieces and built-ins to keep their stuff.  Everyone I know with the open concept thing cannot park their cars in the garage because that is where they keep all their stuff.  

 

I actually like open concepts for entertaining.  I have parties and cookouts at my place(2000 sq ft) and it's nice to have everyone in same room for interacting with each other.  As for the garage situation most people have too much crap.  It's best to be organized and have proper shelving to store the stuff in the garage that you want to keep.   

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