As the population continues to grow, people have no intention of slowing down. Transportation is the ticket between point A and point B. In order to keep up with a growing number of people who are on the go in urban spaces, highways have to expand and change.
When highways are added or reconstructed, the landscape of cities changes, which directly affects the homes that occupy them. Modern highways affect our homes in a number of ways, all of which can be looked at in a positive or negative light, depending on where your home stands.
If you’re a commuter, a new highway near your home could be a blessing. If you’re recently retired and had hoped on quiet, leisurely days at home, a modern highway addition could be a noise irritation that’s not going away anytime soon. Whatever your stance on modern highways, homes are definitely affected in a variety of unique fashions.
Let’s look at the good, bad and downright ugly effects of modern highways and how they affect our homes:
Homes Are Losing Their Zen
An increase in transportation of any type naturally creates a sense of urgency. As people, cars and buses rush along a highway near your home, it’s nearly impossible to ignore the speed and stress with which people move through the world. This feeling can be extremely contradictory to the feeling you were aiming for when you first purchased or built your home.
As a result, the rise of modern highways have forced homeowners and builders to think of ways to create the zen and peace you desire from the inside out. Your front yard may no longer be a place you feel comfortable passing time with vehicles rushing by at 70 mph. An alternative could be an interior courtyard option—but this takes planning and investment. Interior courtyards preserve the benefits of being outside without the risks associated with living near a busy highway.
Similarly, homes built close to highways need to take noise level into consideration. Specialized windows may need to be installed in an effort to keep out sound. If the highway is a new addition to a home that already exists, sound barrier curtains are a modern option as well as white noise machines placed throughout your home. Some companies even sell soundproof vinyl that can be placed around areas that tend to let the most traffic noise in.
Sometimes, the ability to feel peaceful in a home that is surrounded by busy highway traffic lies in the simple color schemes you choose. Creating an interior oasis of calming colors is a great way to balance out the crazy that might lie just outside your front door. Whatever route you take, a peaceful home near a highway is not a given—it is something that must be consciously crafted in our modern age.
The Rise of the Modern Highway
Highways are constructed with convenience and efficiency in mind, but if your home lies in the path of a highway, you’re not a stranger to the fact that increased traffic equals increased pollution near your habitat. That clean air you’re so fond of can quickly become a smoky mess as highways begin looping around or near your home. For many homeowners, this is the opportunity to balance out the modern transit system with a green home approach.
Going green is good for your home; its good for your health; and it’s good for the environment. There also may be some highway noise reduction thanks to green technologies. For example, using full roofing solar tiles will not only increase your home’s heating and energy efficiency, but those large panels might actually work to keep sound out to some degree as well. Similarly, the popularity of roof gardens is on the rise. Plants works as extra noise barriers and keep the air around your home as fresh as you can possibly keep it under the circumstances.
Unfortunately, highways constructed near homes also have a tendency to fill the air with more dust and debris than might have been expected. This means homeowners have to take some extra steps to keep homes fresh, clean and efficient. Bamboo curtains are a great way to not only keep moisture and dust out of your home, but add onto the overall green effect you’re going for (Bamboo is one of the planet’s most renewable resources).
Protecting the outside of homes near highways is another issue to consider. Depending on proximity, certain safety measures may need to be taken for debris that could fly from blown tires, accidents or water drainage off the roadways. In cases like these, it would be important to look into highly durable siding to cover your home and save on damage costs further down the line. Keeping in line with the green theme, there are many companies on the market that cater to the needs of homeowners looking for durable, green vinyl siding options.
Your Home Safety May Be At Risk
The truth of the matter is, modern highways are built to transport vehicles. Vehicles carry people and the natural result is a home that might have once been rather isolated, now being exposed to an increased number of vehicles and people daily. When the number of people in a given area begins to rise, the need to take certain efficient safety measures does as well.
Homes that suddenly find themselves in the middle of mass transit need to be well protected from those with ill intentions. It’s important to consider the value of a home security system when the dynamics of your neighborhood change drastically with the addition of a highway. Many modern security systems are wireless and easy to install— these are affordable ways to keep your home protected day and night.
Fencing is another option to be considered when a highway comes into the picture. Not only will a fence keep out extra debris, it might even work as a sound barrier. Likewise, it could be an easy option for getting your front or back yard back to the oasis you desire.
While modern highways don’t automatically equal danger, anytime traffic is added into the mix, it’s important to take extra precautions for your home and family. Look into the many modern security devices that may work to keep your home safe.
Highways May Equal Lower Home Values
Modern highways provide the convenience of an easy route to and from your destinations. They can be a blessing to those who need to get somewhere quickly, and a curse to those who once lived in a quiet neighborhood and are now subject to horn-honking and tire squeals on a daily basis. Whatever changes they bring to homeowners one thing is certain— modern highways have changed the price point and values on our homes.
Depending on a home’s exact location, the value can swing drastically once a highway comes into the picture. A modest quiet neighborhood away from the proximity of highway noise could now see home values going sky high as people flock to the quiet of a home away from a highway.
On the flip side of this highway coin, those who commute may begin seeking out homes that are specifically located near strategic highway points to reduce the stress of travel in their daily lives. This could similarly cause prices on homes near highways to rise substantially. The alternative option is the reality of prices plummeting in certain neighborhoods as residents begin to leave when highways move in.
Either way, the changes in neighborhood and real estate dynamics is undeniable where modern highways are involved. The tendency is for changes in major transit systems to drastically affect prices and value one way or the other. The elimination of a middle ground in this scenario can be worrisome to residents, but also an incredible opportunity for homeowners to take on the challenge of creating a new type of home in a modern age.
Whether they affect a resident, home or neighborhood positively or negatively, modern highways definitely have an impact. It’s easy to see urban spaces seamlessly tying together and moving towards a combined center of efficiency.
But just because it’s change doesn’t mean your home has to suffer. Working with these modern highway changes to create a space that protects and even inspires you can be a motivating project. For every highway that’s built, there is a home solution to be found!