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A range of energy-efficient small home plans in a variety of charming styles

We’ve said farewell to 2012, and now business owners and contractors are naturally looking ahead to the coming year. Many are cultivating hope for an improved economy and more robust residential construction sector. By reviewing housing data from the close of 2012, we can extrapolate which trends will continue to gain strength in 2013. Here are the housing trends you can expect to see in the coming year:

Housing market strengthens.

Toward the end of 2012, Census Bureau and HUD Reports indicated a burst of construction activity in the housing market. To explain this growth, experts point to the fact that consumer spending and industrial production have been healthy for the past few months. Assuming the country doesn’t re-enter recession following the so-called Fiscal Cliff debacle, the housing market should remain steady heading into 2013.

Multi-family house plans continue to enjoy popularity.

For months, the multi-family residential score on the American Institute of Architects billing index has been rising. As more cities, such as Portland, Oregon, ease “granny residence” restrictions, more consumers are looking for small cottage house plans that can share a lot with a larger family home. And increasing numbers of house plans include multiple master suites to maximize comfort when boomerang children or aging parents move in.

Interest in small house plans grows.

The so-called McMansions of the 1990s are no longer practical for many families, given rising gas and heating costs.The pendulum of house size preference seems to be swinging back toward the smaller, more ingeniously designed house plan.

When creating small house plans, designers are keen on ways to eliminate redundancy and create multi-use spaces that cater to the needs of the modern family. For example, the parlor was a must-have for our grandparents’ generation, but most of today’s families prefer a spacious, open area for eating, entertaining and socializing. A separate formal dining room is increasingly seen as a little-used space that gobbles up heating costs.

Homeowners aim for energy independence.

The demand for energy efficiency is a broader societal trend that also fuels interest in small home plans. Many consumers are aware that a smaller carbon footprint is directly related to a smaller building footprint; it takes less energy to light and heat a smaller home. Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their reliance on the energy grids that have proved so unreliable following large storms, such as Hurricane Sandy. Therefore, you can expect to see more solar panels, geothermal heating systems and passive house features in the house plans of 2013 and beyond.

If you’re seeking energy-efficient small home plans, look no further than our collection of designs. We offer a range of plans in a variety of charming styles.