In-law suites and bonus rooms are on an upswing, the builder says.

Schumacher Predicts 10 Custom Home Design Trends for 2012

In-law suites and bonus rooms are on an upswing, the builder says.

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    1. In-Law Suite
    Families are increasingly combining multiple generations under one roof and adding a private in-law suite with separate entrances and bathrooms to allow privacy.

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    2. Dual Suite
    Another option for multigenerational households is a dual-suite floor plan with privacy away from the communal living space.

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    3. Hearth Room
    A popular architectural option, especially for the winter months, is the addition of a hearth room or alcove for a fireplace.

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    4. Sun Room/Screened-In Porch
    Customers like to enjoy the beauty of nature—sans mosquitoes—from the comfort of their own home.

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    5. Wall of Windows
    This feature is a popular add-on for customers who seek a show-stopping architectural look and like to entertain.

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    6. Exterior Changes
    More and more, customers are choosing to personalize a home’s exterior style to their exact specifications.

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    7. Angled Garage
    Many customers change the angle of their garage, either for space concerns or as a unique design choice, the builder says.

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    8. Bonus Room
    A bonus room adds additional space for hobbies and entertainment, and is a popular lifestyle option since its use can change with the life of the home.

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    9. Sitting Room
    Adding a sitting room off the master suite adds a touch of luxury to the everyday, and many customers enjoy the added value.

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    10. Movie Theater
    Movie buffs and football fans alike appreciate this popular option, and often add it by converting a bedroom or building an add-on space to their floor plan, Schumacher says.

Schumacher Homes, a Canton, Ohio-based company that claims to be America’s largest custom on-your-lot home builder, has released its list of the top custom home design trends the company predicts for 2012.

“We expect that the trends … will be our biggest requests in 2012, as well as the growing trend toward more casual, family-focused living,” says Paul Schumacher, CEO of Schumacher Homes, which has been building custom homes for nearly 20 years.

The 10 trends were compiled from some of the most popular design features buyers were asking for in 2011, Schumacher says. The top three most requested items from the list include bonus rooms; screened porches/outdoor living space; and in-law suites/multi-generational living.

Bonus rooms, the builder says, are popular with two groups—“young, growing families, because they allow a homeowner to shift the purpose of the room as their family grows up; and older home buyers, who may be planning for a space that can fit grandkids when they come to visit.” An in-law suite, the builder says, is popular with more-established homeowners who may be just now able to afford to build their dream home and are planning for aging parents.

“People who are building now are making more of the footprint of a new home and are transitioning space to meet multiple needs,” Schumacher says. “Many of the trends we predict for 2012 help customers make the most of their space so they get more out of their investment.”

Though it may seem odd that energy efficiency options and features are not on the list, the reason is that Schumacher considers efficiency to have transcended “trend” status. His company makes energy efficient building a standard feature in all of its homes. “The list compiled is optional upgrades and the physical changes people make to plans that are visible,” he says.

Here are the 10 trends the company says will be most popular with buyers next year.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Canton, OH.