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  • Writer's pictureAron Pinto

How Waterloo Region Homes Will Change After COVID-19

Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, life as we know it has changed a lot. And, although it might not be what we want to hear it’s unlikely, experts say, that life will ever really be the same again.

It’s also a sobering fact that even after communities begin to emerge from lockdown it could, in the future become necessary again.

In a post virus world, we won’t soon forget our shelter in place memories. Going forward, if there’s even the slightest chance that we’ll need to repeat this practice, homeowners may want to prepare by buying or renovating a house with amenities that’ll make it just a bit more bearable.

With this mind, here are some features to look for in a new Waterloo Region home—or add to your current one—once we do emerge from the current ‘lockdown’

More Bathrooms

A family member diagnosed with a virus requires the use of their own bathroom to keep germs in one place, so the addition of a second (or third or fourth) bathroom in homes will be important.

This option used to be about convenience, but in the age of quarantines, sharing a bathroom could be dangerous. And in addition, as hand washing has become such a big deal adding a small hand washing sink near the entrance to your home, in a mudroom perhaps, is also a good idea.

More Efficient Mudrooms

Speaking of mudrooms, ideally those will change as well. Taking off your shoes before entering the house has long been recommended to cut back on grime and germs. But now that a recent study found that the novel coronavirus can cling to shoes’ soles and then get tracked inside, even more people may start removing their shoes right as they enter a house.

This could make the presence of mudrooms—including larger, souped-up versions with seating areas and cubbies—more appealing than ever.

Larger Pantries

If you found your home’s food storage was lacking in the early days of the coronavirus you were not alone. Going forward the fix will be bigger and better pantries. Room for non perishables is key so you can cut back on the number of grocery store trips you make.

No room for a dedicated pantry? You can also look at other food storage options such as shelving and cabinets in other parts of the home, like the garage and basement.

More Freezer Space

Remember the old-fashioned chest freezer your grandmother had? Look for it again, along with more built-in freezer drawers, in future home design. Panicky pandemic shoppers are snapping up all manner of foods, and the result has been a sold-out stock of freezer units.

More Closed Off Space

COVID-19 has brought to light a heightened desire for more quiet areas in the home, no matter how small, and convertible spaces like guest rooms that can be used for playtime or as a homework spot. But open floor plans probably won’t disappear—instead, a better balance between private, semiprivate, and public spaces is coming.

Real Home Offices

This one’s obvious, and it covers everything from a fully equipped workspace in a separate room – the ideal perhaps – to more innovative space-saving solutions like converted stair nooks or a retrofitted closet.

As people video chat and Zoom more with colleagues from home, they’re becoming hyper aware of the changes they’d like to see in a home office, including better lighting and more storage. And since a return to the workplace will be gradual, high demand will continue for an office that’s comfortable and functional.

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