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Now, plans and elevations pander to pandemic specifications

COVID-19 has changed the way people view and design home spaces

COVID-19 is changing the views on home spaces in ways not seen before.

While the pandemic-triggered work-from-home culture and online classes are demanding more space at home, rising cost and shortage of labour and domestic help are curbing the splurge on new homes, say architects and builders.

A little playground on the rooftop, a soundproof room for online meetings, a more airy kitchen, and more non-air-conditioned spaces are now preferred over closed spaces and compact kitchens.

The pandemic has set off conversations about home space, says Monolita Chatterjee, architect, who feels that such thoughts are now going into more labour-saving designs.

Maintenance

Maintenance of large spaces has become difficult. It is possible that nobody is available to maintain a large house for long periods of time, says Ms. Chatterjee.

The demand for homes and apartment units below the ₹50 lakh mark is significant now. The incentives in interest subsidy given by the Central government for low-cost housing, spiralling cost of raw materials and economic uncertainties are encouraging more people to go in for smaller homes, says architect L. Gopakumar, who is also the chairman of the Kerala chapter of the Indian Institute of Architects. Premium market appears unaffected, the trend towards more affordable homes is visible when it came to areas such as the finish and use of fittings, says Mr. Gopakumar.

However, Sunil Kumar, a real property developer in Kochi, says the idea of home space has undergone a drastic change. More people are now looking to add another 60 sq ft to 100 sq ft of space to the normal 1,200-1,300 sq ft homes to accommodate the new requirements for privacy for a working environment.

New view

Arun Vidyasagar, an architect in Kochi, says there is a big difference now being perceived about the demand for home space among those working in the information technology sector. He says he knows people building a shuttle court on the rooftop and establishing soundproof rooms for official meetings.

Shaji Mathew, a builder, agrees that people are now cutting cost effectively.

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