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What Dads Want in Their Homes

In honor of the recent Father’s Day celebration, MarketWatch decided to take a look at what dads really want in a home. While moms are seeking mudrooms and open floor plans, it seems more and more dads are looking for a space of their own. Here are some of the rooms they’re looking for:

• Barring the cigar lounge, at the top of the list for dads is the original man cave, namely the garage, says Florida Realtor Bruce Elliott. Dads have also asked for cabinets on porches big enough to install a small fridge, a shaded platform for a grill or storage sheds for pool games and floating toys, he says. Dads also spend time really evaluating the potential a garage has and “will it fit their jet skis or other toys, a workbench or, of course, that mountain of kids’ stuff,” he says.

• A father of three, Illinois architect Frederick Wilson created a separate space in his house for his Lionel trains and railroad memorabilia. He’s also been asked to create special spaces for dads as well, including one for a client who wanted to mount his trophies from big game hunting trips; another for a client who wanted to mount his guitars and have a place to jam; and yet another who wanted the wall of his study knocked out so he could stare at his classic cars in the garage.

• Illinois developer Jerry James’ town house designs outside Chicago feature a square, private outdoor deck on the main level that’s easily accessible from the kitchen and family room and is accessed through a den. “The connected den can be used as a kids’ playroom where dad can ke7ep an eye on them while relaxing and reading a book on the deck,” James says. “Or, if the den is used as a home office, the deck makes a nice change of scenery if dad is working from home for the day and wants to work outside on his laptop.”

• A little more down-to-earth dad amenity is the outdoor kitchen. “It’s a popular upgrade for dads who not only want a fully equipped, dedicated space where they can show off their skills as family grill master, but also have a great area for outdoor entertaining,” says Karen Schmid, sales manager at Red Seal Homes in Illinois.