July 23, 2020

How the Pandemic May Shift the Future of Home Design

by Carrie Scheetz

For many of us prepandemic, our homes might have primarily functioned as a mere pass-through—a central location for our families to sleep, quickly eat meals and throw our belongings before running out to work or other activities. Now, for many of us, our homes have become the center for everything, from work to school for our kids and everything in between.
Though the pandemic will be over one day (hopefully sooner rather than later), many of these lifestyle changes may be here to stay. It’s interesting to consider how these circumstances will change—and in some cases, are already changing—the future of home design.
Just consider some of the changes you might have made in the last few months to your home. If you’re able to work remotely, maybe you’ve bought a new desk, spruced up your home office or created a home office space from scratch. Maybe you’ve created or augmented a space for your children, whether it’s to learn or play. Maybe you’ve invested more in your outdoor space since you’re spending more time there, as a way to “get out of the house.”
Builders have cited changes to floor plans including everything from specifying quartz for countertops—because they don’t absorb bacteria as much as other materials—to bigger pantries to “decontamination rooms” with a separate entrance to keep everything sanitary for those who come from the outside.
So what does this mean for us in the fenestration industry? How do windows and doors play a role in the evolution of home design? Here are a few predictions.

  • Larger-format windows. This is already a trend, with more glass being used to offer daylighting, but now that we are home more than ever before, it’s even more important and desired.
  • Glass surfaces may be changing. I’ve already read a few articles that explore ways to keep glass (among other surfaces) clean and easier to sanitize. I’ve also seen doors that no longer require your hands to open them. Moving forward, the cleaning and maintenance process for windows and doors will be critical in keeping homes and places of business safe.
  • Demand for operability. It’s been shown that natural ventilation can be part of a plan to create heathier indoor spaces, from homes to multifamily units to offices and beyond. It’s all the more reason to expect that operability in windows, no matter the format, will become increasingly in demand.
  • An increased importance for screens. An increased demand for window operability would naturally come with an increased need for window screens. Quanex has several blogs on the perils of producing your own screens, but one thing is for sure—they may be more in demand soon. The easier we can make producing quality screens in an efficient way, the better off we’ll be.
Though there is so much going on in the world that is out of our control, we in the fenestration industry play a role in the evolving needs around us. And we’ll be here innovating and helping our customers change with the times every step of the way.
Questions or feedback? Email me at Carrie.Scheetz@quanex.com

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: July 23, 2020 by Carrie Scheetz Filed under: design, housing, trends