It is no longer enough to buy a comfy sofa or two, a large bed, and a few appliances to make a home truly liveable. And if you're constructing a house, you need to think beyond cement and paint and square footage. In the 21st century you have the option to incorporate essentials that will give your home and its amenities much greater longevity, sustainability and utility.
Here are five essentials that every Indian home must have in the 21st century.
1. Energy-efficient utilities
Focus less on making the neighbours go green with envy and more on going green yourself. According to the Centre of Science and Environment, the building sector is already consuming about 40% of the total electricity in India, and this is expected to increase to 76% by 2040, with the residential sector making up much of the rising demand.
When building your home, adopt measures that help you save energy. Use only "Energy Star" appliances and invest in programmed thermostats to control your HVAC systems. You can even go a step further by opting for natural energy sources like solar cells, solar appliances and even solar panels.
2. Smart security
House break-ins are more common than we may think and, in fact, are among the fastest growing crimes in Mumbai. Criminals are getting smarter and smarter and you need to keep pace by addressing security loopholes in your home.
Install smart security systems like remote alarm systems, door and window locks, peepholes and CCTV cameras to keep an eye on your home even when you're away. These can be connected remotely to your PCs and cell phones too.
3. Be earthquake ready
If you live in a seismic zone - and chances are you do, given that 60% of the subcontinent is vulnerable to earthquakes - it makes little sense to focus on beautifying your home when it could all crumble without a moment's notice. Homeowners living in high-risk zones must build ensuring that earthquake standards for buildings are adhered to.
4. Get home insurance
Every home owner must have home insurance. The reasons are obvious. Like every other asset, you need to secure your home from unexpected threats. Not only will home insurance help you in case of any harm to your home, but will also give you several options to opt for low EMIs.
5. Give a home to your vehicles too
Last, but not the least! Having a proper parking space in your home helps your safeguard your vehicles. According to a Mumbai Police report, every year, nearly 36,000 vehicles that amount to Rs 115 crore are stolen in India. They recommend that parking in a secure, well-lit parking facility can safe-guard against theft. Installing anti-theft devices in your vehicles is also advisable.
Having a "dream house" takes years of hard work and sacrifice. Do not let your sacrifice go to waste by overlooking these home essentials.