Multi-family homes have been steadily gaining in popularity over the last several years, with recent estimates finding that as many as 35% of new homes being built today are multi-family. There are a lot of different reasons for this uptick in popularity, but one thing that truly stands out is the increase in the use of fiber cement products on these buildings as well.
The Popularity of the Multi-Family Home
Multi-family homes have always been around. Whether they are duplexes, in-laws, or apartment buildings, the concept itself is hardly a new idea. What is new is the sudden increase in the number being built today.
There are several reasons why this is happening. Many young adults today are delaying the time it takes to leave home, leading some parents to build homes with built-in apartments for adult children. At the same time, young adults today are also more likely to delay purchasing their own single family home, choosing instead to live in apartments, duplexes, condexes, and other multi-family dwellings. Part of this is the cost of real estate, and the difficulty that many young people find in getting home loans. Another part, however, is simply the increase in popularity of a culture that enables young people to move frequently for life reasons or jobs, share living expenses with others while saving for their first home, and enjoy a life free from the maintenance and upkeep of home ownership.
Fiber Cement and Multi-Family Properties
It can also be assumed that some of the increase in building new multi-family dwellings comes from the materials and products available today for this purpose. Multi-family homes can be split into a few different categories:
- Those owned and inhabited by several members of the same family
- Those owned by the occupants of each separate unit
- Those that are owned by one, large overseeing entity and rented out by the unit
In two of these categories, the responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of the property is shared, which sometimes leads to things like necessary repairs or maintenance getting put off until everyone is available and able to contribute. So when things like roofing or siding need to be repaired, replaced, or maintained, the length of time it takes to do the task may go on so long, that it leads to bigger issues down the road.
In the third category, the management company is responsible for the upkeep of many different properties, which is a huge undertaking. Using products that need frequent repair or replacement means that the overhead for the building may increase to the point that rents need to be raised, potentially leading to empty units.
In both scenarios, it makes sense to use siding, roofing, and other exterior building materials that are durable, low maintenance, and unlikely to require frequent repair or replacement. This makes fiber cement a natural choice for multi-family homes; the material is so durable and low maintenance that it actually pays for itself in reduced maintenance costs over its lifetime.
Multi-Family Style and Personality
A second consideration that many builders of multi-family homes are making frequently is the style and personality of the building or buildings. Many of the same young people that are choosing to live in multi-family homes are also demanding buildings that reflect their personalities and lifestyles. It’s not uncommon today for multi-family dwellings to have very distinctive looks, amenities, and styles to cater to specific populations. For this reason, it makes sense for the builders or management companies to construct these buildings with a sense of style fitting to the occupants.
Fiber cement comes in such a wide range of versatile materials and colors that it’s possible to link a row of buildings together, each with its own color, style, and overall look, yet all with the same durability and low maintenance that fiber cement is known for. This means that urban buildings can be done in smooth architectural panels and trim, while more suburban homes can have traditional lap siding and porches. And because fiber cement can be used to cover the entire exterior of the building from the roof to the trim, you can create beautiful, stylish buildings that will help attract the kind of tenants you’d like for the space.
Create the Perfect Property
Whatever your reasons for choosing to build a multi-family home, it makes sense to want to create a building that will be durable and low maintenance for years to come. With lower maintenance comes lower fees for owners and tenants alike, ensuring the continued popularity of this type of home. Consider fiber cement for the exterior of your next multi-family home. In doing so you’re likely to find even more popularity and an increased appreciation of the multi-family dwelling for many years to come.