What is Property Usability?

What is Property Usability?

Property usability is a term used to describe the functionality, comfort, and overall livability of a property. It is a measure of how well a property meets the needs and preferences of its residents, and how easy it is to use and maintain. In short, it's about creating a place with spaces that enhances your life activities and well-being.

When it comes to buying a home, there are several options available to home buyers. One option is to purchase an existing home that is already built and ready to move in. Another option is to build your own home from the ground up, giving you the opportunity to design and customize the space to your exact specifications. For those who want it all, a third option is to blend a house purchase with renovations and additions. This allows you to buy an existing home and make changes to it, such as adding rooms or updating the kitchen and bathrooms, to make it your own. With the right property design and development consultant, home buyers can determine which option works best for them in the near and long term, and make informed decisions about their home purchase. 

A kitchen renovation could be all that stands in your way from purchasing the home that fulfills your imagination and long-term needs.

AI-generated illustrations of a disorganized antiquated kitchen and a contemporary kitchen as culinary platform with herb garden by Tangible Places © 2023

What isn’t Property Usability?

Contrary to property usability, there are various elements that detract from it, such as complex elaborate architectural forms, or traditional cookie-cutter spec homes. These types of properties may be visually impressive or comforting in their familiarity but they often lack a human-centered approach to the functionality and livability qualities that are essential for a sustainable residence of domestic activities. You might find yourself fighting the design choices of an eccentric former owner or corporate choices from a factory designed house, but anything is possible and these can be considered as a platform to adapt the place to your needs and tasks.

AI-generated illustrations of a highly custom home and a "cookie-cutter" spec suburban home by Tangible Places © 2023

Why does it matter?

Usability matters in a home because it directly affects the quality of life of its residents. A property that is usable is one that is comfortable, functional, and easy to maintain. It is a place with spaces that enhances your life, rather than detract from it. Finding the gap and fit between current site and end user needs is a sweet spot of discovery that we can help you choose a property with confidence.

We visit a site to discover its intangible qualities and to find a path for dwelling within these natural qualities. When we recently visited our property in Hoquiam, we set up a relaxing open-air workstation and observed, sketched and analyzed the terrain with a 4 foot grid of short stakes, placed at the corners of a portable aluminum four foot square, and an elevation app.

Modular pavilion sketch (in-situ) by Tana Green ©Tangible Places 2022
site photos staking corners of structures of the Slope Home property, with 4' aluminum grid. © Tangible Places 2022

How do you measure it?

Measuring property usability can be done through a variety of methods, such as conducting surveys, interviews, and observations, or by using tools like usability testing and heuristic evaluations. By gathering information about the property's layout, materials, and systems, as well as the needs and preferences of its residents, it's possible to determine the property's usability and areas for improvement.

Beyond the poetic satisfaction of owning dirt in the palm of your hand, with tangible real property, licensed civil engineering firms (not our firm, but we work with trusted partners), can collect soil samples to determine a variety of capabilities with scientific tests.

This rigorous approach can determine many things such as soil structural stability, septic perk, arability, groundwater flow, etc. from this data, as well as surveyors, 3D scanning and elevation markers, our team can 3D model and draft schematic views and annotate recommended interventions and planned features for development.

North and South elevations schematic drawings of Slope Home property © Tangible Places 2022 all rights reserved.

Why wouldn't you plan for it?

Many people may think that property usability is something that can be planned for later, but in reality, it should be considered from the very beginning of the property development process. Failing to plan for property usability can lead to costly and time-consuming renovations down the line, not to mention a less comfortable and functional living space.

In conclusion, property usability is about creating a place that enhances your life’s activities and meets your needs and preferences. It is essential for creating comfortable, effortlessly functional, and sustainable living spaces. By considering property usability from the very beginning, it is possible to create your place that is both meaningful and gratifying. If you're considering a property development project, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Tangible Places for expert advice with a property usability evaluation. Alternatively, you can purchase a brief workshop to uncover your options, or we can provide a detailed comparison and we’ll help you choose a property that exceeds your needs, accomplish daily and seasonal tasks, and help you gain more quality time enjoying life with your friends and family, dwelling comfortably within your home.

AI-generated illustration of a modular, spatially-dynamic, and adaptable home by Tangible Places © 2023
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