6 Home Building Trends for 2020 Home Buyers

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Homebuilding trends largely reflect the demands of the Millennials - the largest home-buying group entering the housing market as first time home buyers. In 2020, six home building trends often requested by Millenials include strong wall systems, home offices, energy-efficiency, open-floor plans, outdoor living spaces, and industrial-styles for the exterior.

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1. Protection from Winds, Floods, and Fires

In 2020, the increasing threats of hurricanes, tornados, and fires make disaster-resistance a vital necessity. The wall systems of today's homes must protect the house, the family, and the home's belongings against extreme winds, fire, and floods. Also, many new homeowners are demanding a safe room.


The design of a wind-resistant home must include a con­tin­u­ous load path to hold the house together during extreme wind events. Con­tin­u­ous load paths protect a house against uplift and lateral (hor­i­zon­tal) loads. The continuous load path ensures that loads travel from the roof, walls, and other house components to the foun­da­tion and into the ground.

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Fox Blocks ICFs Create Wind-Resistant Walls

  • Fox Blocks Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) reinforced concrete wall systems offer an excellent solution for creating a continuous load path that can withstand severe wind events during hurricanes and tornadoes. Fox Blocks ICFs also maintain their integrity during winds of over 200 mph and can withstand projectile debris traveling faster than 100 mph.


A crucial home building trend for 2020 includes flood-resistance, par­tic­u­lar­ly in flood hazard zones. Flood-resistant houses protect against storm surges, heavy rains, and tides. The flood-resistant house design includes products that can get wet, elevated structures, and design assem­blies that quickly dry when exposed to moisture, like Fox Blocks ICFs.

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Fox Blocks ICFs Create Wind-Resistant Walls

Fox Blocks solid continuous monolithic concrete walls furnish moisture-resistance and permeability (perm rating below 1.0). Fox Blocks ensure that moisture that infiltrates the wall system of a house dries out and won't travel to nearby materials. Also, Fox Blocks reinforced concrete construction does not promote mold or mildew, does not degrade when wet and will maintain its original shape and integrity during and after a flood.


There are 4.5 million homes at extreme or high risk of wildfire in the United States - making fire-resistant design a critical building trend in 2020. Fire-resistant home design must include passive fire protection that limits the spread of fire and smoke and protects the structural elements to prevent the house from collapsing during a fire.

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Fox Blocks ICF Walls Furnish Fire-Resistance

  • Fox Blocks offer an excellent solution to producing passive fire protection and limiting the spread of smoke. Fox Blocks achieve fire-resistance ratings (ASTM E119) of 4 hours for the 6-inch blocks and 2 hours for the 4-inch blocks. Fox Blocks also has ASTM E84 reported values for flame speed below 25 and smoke development below 450.

A Safe Room

Because 1253 tornadoes attack the U.S. yearly, many families demand their homes include a safe room or shelter. Safe rooms ensure the safety of the family from the severe wind forces of tornadoes and hurricanes.

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Fox Blocks ICF Safe Rooms or Shelters

Fox Blocks ICF has a superior wall system for a FEMA-approved safe room or shelter. Fox Blocks ICF safe rooms exceed and meet the standards of FEMA for impact resistance and a continuous load path.

2. Home Offices

Even before the COVID 19 outbreak forced businesses to adopt a remote work policy, 5 million employees (making up 3.6 percent of the entire U.S. workforce) worked from home at least half the time. Furthermore, the number of regular telecommuting employees (excluding the self-employed population) has grown by 173% in the past 15 years. Consequently, many homeowners now require houses with home offices. To ensure a quiet and productive space, a home office must provide excellent acoustics by installing interior and exterior wall systems with high sound reduction, like Fox Blocks ICFs.

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3. Energy-Efficiency

As temperatures in the United States increase, today's homeowners demand energy-efficient houses to lessen utility bills and protect the environment.

Fox Blocks ICFs create high-performing, energy-efficient home wall systems. They have a high thermal mass and continuous insulation, both of which contribute to a tight building envelope - a crucial component for energy-efficient home design.

20181211 ICF Efficiency Insulated Concrete Forms Fox Blocks 790

4. Open Concept Design

Nearly 50 percent of all millennials, Gen Xers, and boomers desire open floor plans. An open floor plan encourages the togetherness and closeness of a family, particularly after a long day of isolation in their home offices. The structural capacity of Fox Blocks reinforced concrete walls can be desinged to support long span floor and roof systems for open concept design and flexibilty.

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5. Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor living spaces, particularly those built with low-maintenance products, continue to top the list for building trends in 2020, particularly among Millennials. Millennials ranked three outdoor living spaces in their top ten most wanted features for their homes: a deck, a patio, and a front porch. Outdoor living spaces don't just add living space but they also increase a home's value, improve a family's health, and provide a fun and functional entertainment space.

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6. Industrial Design

Industrial home designs, characterized by asymmetrical forms, no surface elements, and simple lines, can help lower building costs.

Fox blocks

Fox Blocks ICFs created this industrial style 10,000 square foot home in King George, Virginia. The design of the home minimizes energy use, including 2-inches of foam board insulation under the basement slab and a concrete second-floor slab. The home also includes passive solar heating, hydronic electric floor heating, and other energy-efficient features that together achieve a HERS Rating of 44.

Please contact Fox Blocks for more on home building trends in 2020.