It’s a struggle most of us have every June: what do you get for Dad for Father’s Day that’s not a tie, socks or something else that will collect dust in the back of the closet?
If your family is moving or buying and building a new home soon, why not ask Dad what he wants? Surely he, like Mom, he needs a space of his own where he can get some extra ZZZs or where he can finish up work in a quiet space.
We spoke with Realtors and other industry experts across the country on the top things Dads want in a new home. Anecdotally, it seems Dad loves the outdoors, even when he’s home. Bike paths, in particular, are very popular among Dads, says Bruce Elliott, president of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.
Here’s a list of the top five most requested features that Dads want in a new home: 1) indoor-outdoor spaces like an outdoor kitchen, 2) garage with cabinetry/storage, 3) flex space/hobby room, 4) private office space or tucked-away storage shed and 5) amenities like bike paths or pools.
1. The Great Indoors-Outdoors
Outdoor kitchens or kitchens that open to the outdoors is high on the list for Dads, Patrick Cairncross, a third-generation Realtor in San Diego who works on a team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices with his father.
“Lately, I’ve seen a number of dads build homes with kitchens that open to the backyard,” Cairncross says. “There’s a practical factor for parents to be able to watch their kids play while cooking. Also, having the kitchen near the yard allows dad to grill in the middle of all of the action – gone are the days where grilling has to happen in a separate part of the yard. The grill is an extension of the kitchen.”
2. In the Garage
The garage has long been the domain of Dad, simply because that’s where you can store tools, rec stuff and everything else. But, dads today are using this space to clear the clutter and stay organized. Elliott says a garage with plenty of cabinetry or storage is what dad is really looking for.
A garage with no storage provides no way to organize, so don’t forget to give Dad a way to store items in a neat and organized fashion.
3. Flex Space/Hobby Room
Teris Pantazes, co-founder of EFynch, a home improvement platform, based out of Washington, D.C., says dads are looking for spaces where they can focus on work and hobbies.
“Modern home offices have replaced the ‘mancave’ and now are filled with high-tech (things),” Pantazes says. “Contrasting the high-tech (stuff), many Dads have taken to old school hobbies. I’ve found many men exploring their interest in fly fishing, leather craft and even a few stamp collectors on the far end of that spectrum.”
4. Give Dad Some Space
Like anyone else in the home, Dad needs some alone time where he can catch up on sleep or get work done, says Michael Kelczewski, a Realtor with Brandywine Fine Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Delaware.
“Most fathers request the obvious man cave/recreational room,” Kelczewski says. “Raising a family is a large responsibility, so a respite area is beneficial.”
5. Help Dad Get Some Fresh Air
More new-home communities are offering amenities that take advantage of the natural spaces nearby, such as bike or hiking paths. This is something that Dads appreciate, says Elliott.
Dad can easily get some fresh air without having to trek miles away for a quick hike or a leisurely bike ride. Amenities that take advantage of green space not only provide opportunities to get fit, but ways to spend time with their families, all while staying in their own community.
Patricia L. Garcia is an award-winning freelance journalist who has written for NewHomeSource, the Associated Press, New Mexico magazine and the Texas Bar Journal. When not writing, she can be found in the garden, battling weeds and high-desert heat.