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Designing a future-ready house

According to Buckminster Fuller, “the best way to plan for the future is to design it”. While Fuller’s wisdom is applicable to many walks of life, it certainly rings true when it comes to architecture, and your home.

The key to a successful house redesign is future-proofing. To ensure your home is ready for the next decade or two, keep sustainability and technological advancements as well as your changing needs in mind. To get you started, here are our tips for making your future house design a smart one.

Go Green

With more pressure being placed on natural resources, energy consumption is increasingly relevant in building design. New developments incorporate efficiency into their blueprints, but you can work with your current home to shrink its carbon footprint. Your house redesign could include a rainwater collection system, water-saving appliances and solar panels. You can also upgrade your insulation and windows, which will reduce energy consumption, particularly in older buildings.

Make it multi-use

Converting your rooms into multipurpose spaces has advantages. You can make the most of your home, and increase its appeal. Easily adaptable spaces, like playrooms which can also be studies, or living spaces where you can work and dine, are fantastic for growing families. Your requirements from your home will change over time and multi-use rooms are adaptable enough for that.

Future buyers will also appreciate the flexibility – rather than presenting a space they’ll want to change, your design can reflect the possibilities for the room.

Keep it accessible

Consider the layout of your home and build accessibility into your future house design. Over the coming decades, members of your family or guests may be less mobile, and step-free access to the garden and through the front door will be greatly appreciated. Consider the width of doorways, and whether an open-plan space would be more beneficial in the future. Not only is it usually brighter, and more communal, but it means everyone can enjoy the space regardless of mobility.

Think Tech

It’s tricky to predict what kind of technology will be developed, but experts advise planning for more wiring and more data. In your future house design, plan for plenty of electronics and data access to be available in all rooms, as well as the possibility to integrate smart home features if you haven’t already. This gives you and future buyers great potential to change the use of rooms, or to integrate the latest technology to assist or entertain you.


Your house redesign could include a new garden, which can contribute to energy efficiency as well as aesthetics. Vines, green roofs and leafy trees can help cool your home. Think carefully about your trees before you begin landscaping, as it’s not just your home that needs to be future-proof. In already hot and dry areas, water is likely to become more of an issue, and thirsty trees like eucalyptus will consume a lot of the valuable resource. Good trees for arid climates include ginkos, planes, cedars and cypresses, and smaller plants like succulents are incredibly hardy and low on water consumption, as are certain grasses and shrubs like California lilac.

Future house design takes a little more planning than a simple interior colour-scheme change, but the alterations will be worth it in the long run.

Engel & Völkers

Largo Afonso de Albuquerque, 5/6
2710-519 Sintra
+351 21 600 90 60

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