Home Improvement Series – What’s the Hottest New Remodelling Trend?

The article below by Dona DeZube caught my eye specifically with the comment by architect Kermit Baker concerning the remodelling of spaces that age with us. Bringing back functionality to spaces that can serve more than one use. This is a very interesting take on the current trend in home remodelling. It is worth a look!

Article From HouseLogic.com

By: Dona DeZube
Published: October 25, 2012

A new survey says showy upgrades are out and functionality is in with today’s remodelling home owners.

In the wake of the housing market crisis, we started remodeling with less pretention and more functionality, says Kermit Baker, the chief economist for the American Institute of Architects.

Based on what he’s seeing in the AIA’s quarterly Home Design Trends Survey, (http://www.aia.org/practicing/AIAB095957) home owners and home builders are putting their money into open designs, multi-functional rooms, and homes that age with us. At the same time, we’re moving away from luxury bathrooms and kitchens.

“There have been some pretty significant changes over the past six years and housing preferences may have changed permanently,” says Baker. “The day of the grandiose master bath may have passed us by, and the trend of integrating the kitchen (http://www.houselogic.com/news/home-improvement/top-trends-kitchen-remodeling/) into the family space accelerated during the downturn, along with multi-use spaces and informality.”

The other trends Baker sees in the remodelling data:

Special purpose rooms
If you’re telecommuting, you need a home office (http://www.houselogic.com/home-improvement/rooms/home-offices-studios/). Even if you’re not officially working from home, you’re probably setting up a side business, or consulting out of your home while the economy is weak.

When the job market improves, you can turn that home office into something else that works for you, such as a craft room or a guest bedroom.

Smaller homes
When the economy downsized, so did home buyers, and builders responded by constructing smaller homes (http://www.houselogic.com/news/saving-energy/homes-are-getting-smaller-more-energy-efficient/). That flies in the face of the past four decades’ history of Americans building bigger homes yet having smaller families.

We’ll just have to wait and see if rising incomes lead to rising home sizes, or whether the tiny house (http://www.houselogic.com/blog/home-thoughts/another-happy-family-living-tiny-house/) trend sticks around, Baker says.

I suspect that once the economy picks up, so will home sizes. It’s only when you see your neighbours lose their jobs that flashing your over-the-top lifestyle by building a ginormous house loses its luster.

In the past, we’ve not altered our homes to accommodate the challenges of aging until we really had no other choice. Lately, though, home owners are taking accessibility and aging in place (http://www.houselogic.com/blog/universal-design/universal-design-retirement-planning/) into consideration when they’re doing remodels.

I suspect this is because we Baby Boomers have witnessed our parents making updates so they could stay in their own homes as they aged. After you see what it cost Mom to widen the doorways so her wheelchair would fit through them, you’re a lot more likely to put wider doors in when you remodel your home.

Green and sustainable projects
Green materials and sustainability have finally gone mainstream. And by green, Baker means insulation in the attic (http://www.houselogic.com/search/?q=attic+insulation), an HVAC upgrade (http://www.houselogic.com/blog/heating-cooling/hvac-systems-explained/), and sealing air leaks (http://www.houselogic.com/home-topics/air-leaks/), more so than niche market alternative energy sources, such as geothermal heating systems. Going green always looks good when it saves you green.

Polishing our tiny yards
All those smaller houses are being built on smaller lots (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/gardens/urban-gardening-ideas/). “We’re seeing people spending more money on the yard, but it’s not vast open space,” Baker says.

Low-maintenance exteriors (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/home-improvement/home-improvement-trends/) and lawn alternatives (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/lawns/low-maintenance-lawn-alternatives-turf-grasses/) are growing in popularity. (Personally, I’m working such ridiculous hours that it’s not like I have the time or the energy to do any yardwork in my spare time anyway.)

Have you seen these same trends in your area?

About gvenice

I have over 25 years of electrical engineering and business management experience. I previously owned and managed a multi million dollar engineering firm. My work took me all over the globe, managing the construction of manufacturing plants where I built a reputation of providing superior service, getting projects done on time and within or under budget. My dedication to the fine details and logical approach to accomplishing tasks provide a huge benefit to my Real Estate clients. After selling my business and retiring to this area, I found a new passion in the Real Estate business and I bring to this business the same level of professional skill and conduct that has made mr successful in the past. My global exposure and extensive travel are also an asset when dealing with a customer base that is located worldwide. An avid boater, I have a thourough understanding of the waterways of East Tennessee and the intricacies involved in dealing with the TVA and the Army Corps of Engineers.
This entry was posted in Home Buyers Series, Home Maintenance Series, Home Owners and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s