Lifestyle changes are driving new trends in home design



With COVID-19 changing the way we work and live, many people are spending more time at home, with flexible work practices being the new normal. Everything from the materials we use to the design of our living – and now working – spaces is changing as we navigate the pandemic. So what are the home design trends that we expect to see throughout this year and into 2022?

New builders are opting for homes that meet multiple needs. In Western Australia we have been lucky, with relatively little disruption in our lives compared to other places, but our homes are increasingly becoming a sanctuary where we live, study, work and relax. We spend more time at home and travel a lot less, which is why our home environment is more important than ever.

People who design new homes think of habitable homes with different areas for distinct parts of their lives. Things like wine cellars, dedicated home offices, and study areas for children are all new trends that we are seeing.

New homes become more sustainable as we become more aware of our footprint and create spaces to work, play, relax and live without compromising all the modern features we expect.

As we spend more time at home, people take into account not only the cost, but also the environmental impact of the way we build and renovate. Passive solar design is becoming more and more popular, as are water saving measures.

Items such as window glazing and improved engineering and product design reduce the need for artificial climate controls. We are seeing a trend for better designed homes, resulting in more open and livable homes with a seamless mix from inside to outside.

Smart home technology is also growing in popularity, with homeowners now able to control almost anything in their home from their phones.

Builders are creating homes for future living and changing lifestyle demands, such as aging in place, with features like a downstairs bedroom, wider doorways, and other features that allow people to stay longer in their homes.

There is also a trend for prefabricated and modular elements for new homes and renovations. Kitchens, bathrooms, walls and even second floors can be produced offsite and keep costs down.

When choosing a builder, it is worth checking if he is a member of Master Builders and asking him about recent projects he has completed.

It’s important to have an open conversation with your builder about realistic construction timelines, with supply and labor shortages primarily caused by COVID-19.

The result is people are building smarter, more energy efficient homes, which is a win for everyone.

Q&A with Jason Robertson, MBA Building Technical Services Director

The question

I am embarking on building a wooden fence on my property and wondering if I should use screws or nails. One person told me to use nails and another to use screws. No advice?

The answer

What a great question.

It’s fair, and better, to say that nails and screws make great wood fasteners when properly sized and installed correctly.

There are several considerations but, in many cases, you can use a nail or screw for a strong and, most importantly, a durable connection.

The right choice often depends on the type and dimensions of the wood to be assembled and even on the tool used, for example hardwood or softwood.

When considering between nails or screws, it should be noted that nails are generally considered to be less brittle, so they offer greater shear strength. This means that the nails can bend under pressure, but they rarely break.

Screws, on the other hand, are in many cases considered to have greater tensile strength.

When it comes to wood fencing, one thing to note is that the screws will generally provide an easier rework if you ever need to replace, say, a damaged stake.

But in the end, you can use both nails and screws on a wooden fence.

The bottom line is that choosing the best fastener – nail or screw – comes down to selecting the right size fastener for the job at hand, then using the most appropriate tool to hammer / fasten it into the wood.

Good luck with your project.

CONTACT Master Builders WA, 9476 9800,


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