Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hot Trend in Remodeling

Four hot, new-home trends that can work for your remodel

Builders are back in business, and new-home construction is up in areas across the country. So is
remodeling, as plenty of Americans choose to stay put and upgrade their current homes rather than
tackle the challenge of buying and moving into something new.

If you’re planning to renovate your home, you can tap some of the hottest  trends showing up in
new-home designs. Here are four new-home trends that offer strong returns on your time and money:

1. Creating a view - Americans continue to embrace all things
green and that trend  is showing up in new home construction in a number of ways, including an
emphasis on energy-efficient windows that bring the outdoors inside with a great view.

If your home has older  windows, they’re  likely not  as energy efficient as newer options, so
replacing them can improve your heating and cooling efficiency. Window replacements typically
provide a high return on investment at the time or resale, too - more than 73 percent for wood
windows and 71 percent-plus for vinyl, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report.

While you’re replacing your windows, you also have the opportunity to open up your home more to
outdoor views. Work with  your  architect  or  designer  and  contractor  to  determine where the
best views are, and how much additional  glass you can incorporate into your renovation to
capitalize on those views.

2. Adding a bathroom - When it comes to renovations that improve resale value and enhance a home’s
usability, adding a bathroom is at the top of the list for many homeowners. While today’s new
smaller homes often have less square footage, demand for multiple bathrooms has not changed.

In existing homes, adding a bathroom can sometimes pose plumbing challenges. Up-flush plumbing can
solve a lot of them.   Up-flush systems pump  waste and water from a toilet,  sink or
bathtub up and out, instead of into a below-floor sewage pit.

Up-flush toilets enable homeowners to easily and cost-effectively install a bathroom  virtually
anywhere without  breaking through the floors - a special advantage when those floors are made of
concrete. That means adding a basement bathroom  doesn’t require  cutting  into  a  home’s
concrete  foundation,  and  you can easily add an attic  bathroom  without  tearing  up the first-
floor ceiling. According to Saniflo, makers of up-flush plumbing products,  adding  a bathroom
using this type of plumbing  can cost about $5,000 less than one that uses conventional plumbing.

3. Defining the kitchen - Kitchens are another popular renovation that pays off in a number of
ways. Architects are fine-tuning the popular wide-open floor plan concept, and the change is
showing up in the kitchen. Favored designs now open the kitchen on one side to an adjoining room,
such as the family room, but enclose the other three walls to create a more defined space, as well
as more storage and cabinet options.

This trend works particularly well in older homes where you frequently find a completely separate
kitchen. Now, rather than ripping  out three walls to create an entirely open flow, you can tap the
latest kitchen design trend by opening up just a single wall in the kitchen. This leaves the space
well-defined, but also adds the open, social feeling that is so appealing in many new home designs.

4. Maximizing every inch of space - With smaller floor plans gaining  popularity,  making the most
of every inch of space is vital. New-home design employs entertaining nooks, breakfast alcoves,
built-ins, pocket doors and other tricks to use every inch of space wisely.

It’s a trend  that also works well in older homes that may have smaller rooms and less square
footage  than the  McMansions popular a few years ago. For example, it’s easier to add a built-in
desk to a spare corner and create an office alcove than it is to add an entire office to your floor

If you crave a fresh environment  and the  latest home design trends, you don’t have to give up
your old home and tackle the hassles of moving into something new. With some planning and
creativity, it’s possible to translate some of the hottest new- home
design trends into your renovation project.

Courtesy of Jamie Cook, First American Home Warranty
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