Published at Thursday, March 14th, 2019 - 11:12:37 AM. Outdoor. By Aili Otto.
Why its happening: Affordability is in great demand, with rising home prices and a shortage of desirable downtown locations. “Whats needed is more dense land planning, common outdoor space, greater acceptance of attached homes, and sometimes doing without a garage,” says architect Bill Ramsey with KTGY Architecture and Plannings Denver office. Whats considered livable yet affordable often needs to be larger than tiny homes, most of which are less than 500 square feet. John Hunt, president of Atlanta-based MarketNsight, a research firm focused on the building industry, thinks theres a more viable option: microhouses, which range from 500 to 1,000 square feet. They fit community codes for permanent housing, unlike tiny homes that often must be built atop trailers due to their modest square footage. Microhouses also offer equity, unlike rental microapartments. They can be constructed as narrow townhouses or as a one-story, single-family designs. Home builder Jim Chapman Jr. recently received approval from the city of East Point outside Atlanta for 40 microhouses, each between 500 and 1,000 square feet on a 7.69-acre historic downtown site. Prices will start in the high $100,000s.
Privacy. Shielding gardens and outdoor spaces from neighbors has become more of a priority as homeowners gravitate to urban areas and downtown suburbs. One way is to go vertical and plant along a garage, outbuilding, or fence to camouflage or block out neighboring properties. Choose perennials in colder climates to eliminate the need to replant. Glassman prefers to use an iron or wood trellis rather than grow greenery directly on a dwelling because its easier to perform maintenance. He favors potato, trumpet, and creeping fig vines that grow densely in his northern California climate. Another option for privacy is to plant shrubs or trees with multiple trunks. Henriksen says succulents have become a popular option. But with any choice, the homeowner should ask how big the plant will grow when it matures so that they leave enough room, Glassman says.
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