Embracing the Future: 9 Key Custom Homebuilding Trends in 2024

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In the ever-evolving landscape of custom home building, several trends are emerging that not only cater to modern lifestyles but also contribute to a sustainable and energy-efficient future. From smart home solutions to a focus on sustainable practices, these are a few of the key custom homebuilding trends in 2024 that we see shaping the way new homes are designed and built in Idaho and across the United States.

Trend #1: Energy Efficiency

Homeowners are increasingly prioritizing energy efficiency by incorporating smart home technologies that help save energy and reduce environmental impact. Today’s energy efficiency goes beyond the addition of energy efficient appliances and takes into consideration everything from lighting to insulation. 

energy efficient smart thermostat

At Pathway Builders, we incorporate a number of energy efficient building components as a standard in all of our custom house plans. This includes higher insulation levels and garage insulation, higher quality windows, energy efficient appliances, and greater efficiency HVAC systems. As an affordable custom home builder in Idaho, we want to ensure our customers save money, not just in their initial build, but long term and energy efficient home building accomplishes this cost savings, while having a positive impact on the environment.

Why in 2024? Eco-conscious consumers see energy efficiency as a way to reduce their environmental impact, but energy efficiency has other benefits that resonate with a broader set of consumers, namely cost savings. An energy efficient home has the potential to save homeowners a significant amount on their utility bills, especially long term, something that everyone can get behind. In 2024, increasing cost of energy in Idaho, still high inflation, and higher cost of financing a home make any type of savings even more attractive for those looking to build a custom home in the coming year. 

From intelligent thermostats to solar lights and higher rated windows, these energy efficient technologies not only make homes more eco-friendly but also contribute to long-term cost savings and we expect greater adoption of energy efficient building practices in custom homes built in 2024.

To learn more about energy efficient home building, see Top Tips For Building An Energy Efficient Home.

Trend #2: Focus on Sustainability

Right alongside energy efficiency is building sustainably. Sustainability is at the forefront of custom homebuilding trends in 2024, influencing choices in both construction materials and outdoor living spaces. In the coming year, we expect to see more natural materials like wood, bamboo, and brick gain popularity, while in outdoor areas we expect more spaces designed to preserve or enhance natural and native landscaping. Other features being added to homes, such as electric vehicle chargers, highlight a broader focus on sustainability as a lifestyle change, which impacts the way we live and how we build.

sustainable natural materials as part of sustainability in custom homebuilding trends 2024

Why in 2024? Interest in sustainable building continues to rise. Internet search volumes (on Google) for sustainably focused home building concepts, like “urban rewilding” which grew 120% in the US over the past year, are on the rise [Source: Google Trends].

In other areas, regulations are prompting a focus on sustainability, such as regulations against use of gas stoves forcing the use of more induction cooktops.

As sustainability continues to grow, both in terms of regulations we see and how it is incorporated into the American lifestyle, we expect this custom homebuilding trend to continue to influence the way we build the spaces in which we live.

Trend #3: Usable Outdoor Living Spaces

In the past several years, the desire for outdoor living spaces has taken center stage, with homeowners looking to create functional areas that extend beyond the four walls of their homes. From fire pits to outdoor kitchens, we expect increased use of outdoor living spaces designed for relaxation, entertainment, and a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living.

usable outdoor living space with outdoor kitchen, a part of the custom homebuilding trends 2024

Why in 2024? Pandemic era holdovers like more time at home, influenced Americans’ desires to expand on available interior spaces including the creation of additional living spaces outdoors. Pair this trend with the rising cost of owning and financing a home and outdoor spaces are still seeing traction as an expansion of usable space in a residence, particularly where homeowners have chosen a smaller square footage in light of higher costs.

Whether the outdoor space is used as another place to gather when entertaining or as another living space such as an outdoor office or kitchen, we don’t see the desire to improve our outdoor living spaces slowing down anytime soon, making this one of the key custom homebuilding trends in 2024.

Trend #4: Multigenerational Housing

As families evolve, so do their housing needs. To accommodate changing family needs, new custom homes are being designed and built to accommodate different generations all under one roof. This trend reflects the changing dynamics of modern families and a desire for shared spaces that foster connectivity.

In custom homebuilding trends in 2024, this means incorporating more spaces for privacy such as multiple master bedrooms, separate entrances, larger kitchen spaces or multiple kitchens, additional storage space, and flexible living areas, including space within garages and adding ADUs. It also means adding amenities to enhance comfort for all generations, such as multi-zone HVAC systems, focus on natural lighting, and accessibility features, like adjustable countertops and larger bathrooms.

Why in 2024? In the US, an aging population and rising cost of home ownership spurred a custom homebuilding trend of building multigenerational housing that started a few years ago. This trend isn’t singularly focused on creating spaces to care for aging relatives, rather it also incorporates a growing trend of young adults living with their parents, which accelerated during the pandemic. (See PEW Research for more information on this trend.) 

With many families now comfortable with the shared benefits of a multigenerational household and the continued trend in higher cost of homeownership, we expect to see more custom homes designed for multigenerational living over the next year.

Trend #5: Smaller Square Footage for Single Family Homes

Single-family homes with smaller square footage are gaining popularity, reflecting a focus on quality over quantity. This custom homebuilding trend aligns with the idea of creating more energy efficient and sustainable spaces. It’s also a popular option with homeowners looking for a lower maintenance living situation as the smaller the home, the less there is to manage and maintain. 

Why in 2024? In another sign of the times, rising costs of home ownership and smaller family sizes are leading to a shift in home size preferences. For those building a custom home, square footage is a way to save on the cost to build a custom home. As long as interest rates remain above average, we expect to see more homes being built with less square footage as a way to minimize costs and time spent on home maintenance. 

This custom homebuilding trend also reinforces the trend of creating outdoor living spaces as homeowners opting for lower maintenance, smaller square footage homes use their outdoor spaces to create more usable space while maintaining their lower maintenance lifestyles.

Trend #6: Open Concept Living

The open-concept layout remains a timeless trend, promoting spacious and connected living areas. This design philosophy not only brings families together but also facilitates easier entertaining, making homes feel inviting and conducive to social interactions.

Open-concept design also lends itself well to multigenerational home plans, where an open common area promotes family togetherness and other design elements are used to enhance privacy for adult families living together. The open-concept also makes a smaller square footage home seem larger as the lack of walls makes the home feel larger and less confined.

Open concept kitchen one of the custom homebuilding trends 2024

Why in 2024? Although it isn’t a new trend, the open concept design lends itself so well to other emerging home building trends in 2024, such as smaller square footage spaces and multigenerational living. Because of this, we don’t see it slowing down as a cornerstone design option for custom home plans in 2024.

Trend #7: Incorporating Smart Home Solutions

Smart home solutions continue to be an integral part of custom homebuilding trends in 2024. From automated lighting to security systems, these technologies enhance convenience and security while contributing to the overall energy efficiency of the home. We see more smart thermostat solutions and smart lighting as an overlap between greater energy efficiency trends. On top of that, the ease & convenience of smart home systems makes them worth the additional investment for many homeowners. 

Why in 2024? Cost savings as a result of smart home technology like automated lighting and blinds is one of the key driving factors in adoption. Pairing the cost savings with the increasing convenience of smart home solutions, many homeowners are easily convinced to incorporate the smart home features that matter most for them when building a custom home. 

As the technology continues to evolve, we expect to see the cost of smart home solutions go down and more custom homes incorporating smart home solutions that are fully tailored to the homeowner’s needs in 2024.

Trend #8 Natural Material and Warm, Neutral Colors

Warm colors & natural materials being used in home design, one of the custom homebuilding trends of 2024

A return to nature is evident in the use of natural materials and warm, neutral colors. Wood elements, natural lighting, and cozy, warm neutrals will contribute to a sense of comfort and harmony within the living spaces being built in 2024. These natural elements and colors are an extension of the outdoor living spaces brought in and a way to generate a sense of well-being when building a custom home.

Why in 2024? The color of the year in 2024, Pantone 13-1023 Peach Fuzz, is just one signal of the growing trend of warm, natural colors being prioritized this year. In describing the color of the year choice, Leatrice Eiseman, the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute said, “We chose a color radiant with warmth and modern elegance.” 

“…We chose a color radiant with warmth and modern elegance…”

Leatrice eiseman, executive director of the pantone color institute

Pair this with an increase in Google searches for natural interior design concepts, like “biophilic design examples”, which increased 110% over the past year (source: Google Trends) as another signal of the desire to incorporate more warm, natural elements. In addition, these natural materials are often also sustainable materials and this ties into the trend of sustainability in home building that we also expect to see more of in 2024.

Trend #9: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

In locations like Boise, building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a growing trend, particularly when building a custom home on your land. These additional living spaces provide flexibility and can serve as guest quarters, home offices, or rental units, catering to the diverse needs of homeowners in 2024.

Why in 2024? With more families looking for multigenerational options and as a means to create more affordable living spaces, ADUs are a great option. In 2024, we expect to see a greater number of municipalities updating their ADU regulations in Idaho (and elsewhere in the US) and this will open new opportunities for homeowners interested in the possibility of building an ADU on their property. From more garage-attached ADUs to customization, learn more about ADU trends in 2024.


These custom homebuilding trends in 2024 are not only shaping the physical structures we live in but also influencing our lifestyles and values. As sustainability, energy efficiency, and functionality take center stage, the future of homebuilding is set to reflect both changes in our home & family lives and a harmonious blend of modernity and a return to nature.

If you are interested in building your own custom home on your land in the Boise area or Treasure Valley, we’d love to hear from you. At Pathway Builders our focus is on building affordable custom homes with an emphasis on making the custom homebuilding process as easy and seamless for our customers as possible. Contact us today to talk with one of our homebuilding experts or take a look at our custom home plans to start exploring the possibilities for your home.