Top 8 Home Remodeling Trends
The overriding trend of all home remodeling projects these days is doing things on a small scale. Tackle the necessary projects now, and put the large-scale plans on your wish list to handle at a later date.
Patch that leaking roof, add weather stripping around windows and doors, fix the HVAC or make siding repairs. Divide your list of home remodeling projects into two columns—the “must haves” versus the “want to haves”.
That’s not to say that people aren’t still undertaking more sizeable renovations. In fact, there’s more remodeling going on, simply because homeowners are content to stay put rather than upgrading into a newer home every few years.
Regardless of your current situation, these top home remodeling trends are something to think about—maybe not tomorrow, but hopefully sometime in the near future.
1. Updating Your Kitchen
Always at the top of the list of homeowners is a total kitchen remodel. If you are in the market to sell your home, you can expect to get back about 80% of your investment—plus increasing the odds that your home will sell quicker.
If you have the funds for a complete kitchen redo and plan to stay in your home, you will no doubt appreciate the updated conveniences and energy savings.
From induction cooktops to whisper quiet dishwashers to integrated refrigeration units, the latest Energy Star appliances will make your kitchen the envy of the neighborhood. However, the entire package including, cabinetry, tile, flooring, lighting and new plumbing fixtures will require careful savings or the ability to get a home remodeling loan.
Here are some ideas for those of us with a limited budget. If you are tired of the 1980s color scheme, dated cabinetry and worn flooring, you might want to consider a new color on the walls, cabinet painting or refacing and vinyl flooring that mimics wood or stone. Or replace that one appliance that has been giving you headaches or is just about to ready to take a trip to the junk yard.
2. Adding Warmth
I’m not talking about your home’s insulation, although that is a great money-saving remodeling trend as well. I’m referring to warming up the colors in your home. The latest remodeling trend involves using warm colors of tile, fixtures, fabrics, paint and flooring.
Contemporary whites and neutrals are being replaced by earth tones. This doesn’t mean your house needs to look like a cabin in the woods. The point of the trend is to combine warm, cozy earth tones with a modern aesthetic. Take it a step further by complementing warm tones with metallic accents and fixtures in darker finishes, like oil-rubbed bronze.
3. Turning Your Bath Into a Spa Retreat
If you want to choose a room to renovate, start with the bathroom. Bathroom redos are hotter than hot. They cost less than a kitchen or new addition. Start with a full remodel of your master bath and then do minor updates in the others, working your way down to the powder room.
Spa bathrooms are relatively easy to replicate. Just think of the hotel or resort bathroom from your last vacation. Expand the shower and install dual rain showerheads or put in a jetted soaking tub with chromatherapy lighting. Replace laminate counters with quartz or granite and top with a vessel sink. Replace light-colored cabinetry with dark woods and dated flooring with large-scale, tumbled natural tile.
4. Converting To an Open Floorplan
Walls are out--open floorplans are in.
If you watch home renovation programs on television, you know the big trend is to blow out walls that divide smaller, choppy rooms. New residential construction offers wide open spaces—kitchens that open up to family and dining areas, large master bedrooms with open sitting/lounging areas, wide open loft-like spaces that leave it up to homeowners to get creative.
Demo-ing interior walls creates a flow that gives a home the illusion of being more spacious. Even though walls only take up a little space, homeowners love the extra square footage gained by taking down a few unnecessary walls.
5. Creating Pleasing Outdoor Living Spaces
Does it seem like summers are hotter and last longer? Maybe it’s global warming or maybe it’s a sign that you need to capitalize on your outdoor living space. You can easily double the size of your family’s living area by taking advantage of your yard as an extension of your home.
If you are of a certain age, you may remember mom and dad setting up lawn chairs in the driveway to catch the evening breezes during the summer months. It was also a great way to socialize with neighbors. It seems there is a trend to spend time outside again--just on a grander scale.
Patios now feature elaborate architectural details and hardscapes that recreate living, dining and kitchen areas. Another way to beat the heat is to install a pool. No, you don’t have to install a tricked-out waterpark complete with rock formations, waterfalls and slides. Simple designs are the new trend.
A rectangular or geometric cocktail pool, no deeper than 5 feet, will fit in a very small area--in small back or side yards. All you need is roughly 23 x 14 feet. Add the option of heat and therapeutic jets and you have a “spool” to enjoy year-round.
6. Going Green
Eco-friendly home remodels are very trendy. Solar panel installation, water recycling systems and energy efficient siding are all great ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on utilities. Sustainable products, such as bamboo flooring, recycled paper counter tops and architectural salvage pieces are "green" and add beauty to your home.
One of the most popular energy efficiency upgrades are windows to replace old, single-pane models. Consider dual-pane windows with an insulating layer of argon gas sandwiched between the panes. Apparently, homeowners are even requesting triple-pane windows.
7. Hiring Smart
This is one of the best home remodeling trends out there. Thanks, in part, to home remodeling television shows and magazines, consumers are much more concerned about finding the best contractor to do the job. Homeowners know more about proper construction techniques and are looking closely at contractors and builders before hiring.
Before you sign a contract with anyone to remodel or renovate your home, ask plenty of questions and get plenty of referrals. Take the time to do your due diligence. Check with the Better Business Bureau and state licensing boards to find out if there are any current complaints or claims filed against a contractor. And never, ever hire an unlicensed builder or contractor.
8. Spending Within Your Means
All but gone are the days of home equity and remodeling loans. Unless you have stellar credit, you will probably be saving up for your next remodel. The cash trend for home renovations is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.
Homeowners are setting up a home contingency budget and selecting projects that can be accomplished within the limits of funds on hand. That's a good rule of thumb for all household spending.
© 2012 lindacee