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Constructing The Perfect Contemporary Home

What elements make up the ideal modern-day home? To answer that, you don't have to go any further than knowing what's trendy in a lot of the newly built houses of today. People these days are drawn to brighter rooms and larger glass windows to bring in more daylight. Material that's both stable and low-maintenance is preferred as well, which means less wood is better. Regarding the different areas inside, bedrooms are ensuite, kitchens are well lit and some living areas are open plan. High-tech systems are an additional plus. And let's not forget the future of our main source of energy: solar panels and specialised curtain walls of glass.

Since bungalows aren't part of the trend, chances are if you have plans for new house, you'll want multiple storeys. While you'll definitely need a set of stairs, why not consider installing a lift as well? If what comes to mind is one of those rope-and-pulley-system elevators that will only eat up space, time and money, you can disregard that thought. We're taking about the state-of-the-art vacuum technology lifts, more commonly known as air powered lifts or circular lifts. Unlike the traditional kind, they don't need a bundle of eco-damaging materials or substances. No cables or weights are necessary, as air pressure and gravity work together to handle the job. Hardly any trash is produced as they're assembled. The material is flexible enough so they can be set up in any residential application.

So what are the benefits of having one of these? First, much less electricity is consumed, and you'll be guaranteed not to see a surge in your bill as you continue its use. Second, there's minimal impact on your home and the environment when installing, using and servicing it. You can forget excavation or the need of a machine room in your house-building plans. Also, it's a pretty customisable product. While it comes in different sizes to suit your needs, it can be specifically adjusted to accommodate all the stops needed in a building. Lastly, don't underestimate how nice one would look in your home! It adds a few extra points to the 'cool' factor of the place.

One good example of a contemporary home is Tony and Pat Priestly's stone-and-cedar self-build. Located in the outskirts of Halifax, it's built on a one-acre plot within a tree-filled sloping garden. It has a monopitch roof angled at 10 degrees. Kingspan sheets were used to fit the beams, and Tegola bitumen shingles topped the sheets. To cover up the whole thing, it was essential to use lightweight European tiles. The walls have been fashioned to bear some resemblance to a traditional dry stone wall. The construction was basically a collaboration of stone, stained Canadian Western Red Cedar and Parlex (Spain-based pulped paper that underwent heating and compression before getting fitted to a wooden frame).

As you'd expect, the house was designed with lots of glass, bright spaces, open areas and a modern kitchen. Guests as they enter probably feel a strong sense of openness and warmth. That's the spirit of a true modern-day home.


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