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How many bedrooms does your new home need?

Metricon

Did you know that Australians are building the largest free-standing homes in the world right now? While it's a title often held by the United States, Australia has now surpassed the “Land of the Free” in new home size, according to the latest CommSec Home Size Trends report*.

Here in the Lucky Country, Australians are blessed with plenty of space relative to our small population, and the old Australian Dream of a spacious home and yard still rings true. In 2020, Metricon's Dream Home Survey found that 77 per cent of our site visitors told us they want four or more bedrooms in their home.

Australian attitudes about how we use our homes have certainly evolved in light of COVID-19 due to the amount of time we have spent at home for both work and play. If you're not already looking for a bigger place to call home, there's a high chance you are thinking about a new home layout that better suits your family's lifestyle needs.

So, are those extra bedrooms worth the hype? Here, we explore whether size really matters and why Aussies are loving the privacy and flexibility that comes from additional space.

Flexibility

If there's one thing Australian working families have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that the importance of a home office cannot be understated. When the pandemic hit, not every home had an office, meaning many people were working and videoconferencing from their kitchen tables and bedrooms.

Fortunately, not everyone had this issue. Aussies with a spare room in their home, ready to convert into a home office, had the luxury of being able to set up a new, dedicated workspace away from distraction. Quickly they learnt it pays to have the flexibility of extra rooms.

A home office set up in a spare room - which can easily be converted into a bedroom if need be.

On average, 2.5 people are living in each Australian home, but good homebuilders regularly include four bedrooms on a floorplan to provide extra utility when you've got a full house or to support your work and recreational pursuits.

Of course, extra room to move doesn't have to stop with home offices or bedrooms. Depending on your lifestyle, you may find you want to allocate a few extra square metres to the rooms you love. Fashionistas may extend their master ensuite or walk-in-robe, and budding chefs may appreciate a butler's pantry. Movie buffs could take comfort in a home theatre room, creative people a craft or sewing room, and outdoor enthusiasts may enjoy a mudroom or an alfresco dining space in their floorplan.

The possibilities are endless, but recognising that it will cost more money to change later, many new homeowners prefer to overestimate their floorplan allocation, with few regretting it down the line.

This theatre room is a great place to watch movies, but can also be turned into another bedroom if your family grows.

Family-friendly

In 2019, at least 30 per cent of Metricon homes were built to accommodate multigenerational households, which can include grandparents, parents, children and adult children living under one roof.

Family values are changing, and as the CommSec report suggests, we may not yet fully understand the extent that COVID-19 lockdowns have led people to adjust their living arrangements to support family members. That being said, even before COVID-19, 58 per cent of Metricon homeowners said they were interested in building a fully self-contained section within their home.

Metricon build homes that cater to multigeneration living - you can build two master bedrooms in the same home.

As Metricon Design Director Adrian Popple says, you never know how circumstances may change. Having the extra space to accommodate family members is a great way to cater for unexpected situations.

"Even if you simply opt for an extra bedroom in your new home or ensure that there are enough bathrooms for growth – you won't have to change your plans completely."

Make it happen

So how does a homebuyer manage to secure extra living space? Believe it or not, you may not have to purchase an expansive block or move further out of our capital cities to gain the freedom of flexible living spaces.

Designers have wised up to smart floorplans that allow more bedrooms on smaller blocks. Likewise, the CommSec report finds local councils have become more lenient on the amount of green space smaller blocks need, allowing you to maximise your land.

Take Metricon's Metro 31. This two-storey home can work with blocks as narrow as 10 metres, with a small footprint that leaves room for an outdoor living space. With four bedrooms, a double garage and multiple living spaces, the secrets to this new home lie in clean lines, optimal natural light use, and a smart floorplan.

"The smaller you go, the more the design needs to incorporate open-plan, interconnecting and efficient spaces," Popple says.

In contrast, suppose you do have a larger block. In that case, homes like the Denver epitomise flexible family living, providing multiple living areas, a leisure room, a separate wing for the master suite and an optional outdoor dining room. Of course, if living with your parents or older children isn't for you, a DualOcc arrangement, two or more homes on a single block, could provide you with the solution your family needs.

Whichever you choose, it's unlikely you could regret allocating yourself a little extra breathing space to help meet the uncertainties of life. As Australian homeowners' lifestyles and demographics continue to change, it's worth making sure our homes can be as dynamic as we are.

Still deciding how many rooms you'll need in your home? Speak to one of our experts today. Metricon builds homes in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, and regional hubs across Victoria, NSW, Queensland, and SA.

Read CommSec’s Home Size Trend Report here.