ProSource | 3/1/2017 | Expert Advice
The home improvement business in the U.S. has been good over the past couple of years. And for trade professionals, the good news keeps coming. Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies forecasts rising remodeling spending to reach $325 billion by early 2017 – the highest level in a decade.
According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, the forecast for 2016 home improvement product sales, an indicator of home improvement activity for the year, shows an increase of 6% over 2015 sales. They’re also forecasting promising growth for the next few years, at a less aggressive average rate of about 3.9%.
What’s inspiring all of this activity? Ask trade professionals about the types projects they’re seeing most often, and you’ll see a theme emerge. Basically, homeowners are going for more:
The first “more” on the list represents a newer trend for homeowners. In the past, forward-thinking homeowners remodeled with a shrewd eye on their next move. Now many of them are focused on making their current home their next dream home, for the long haul. Bruce Graf of Dallas-based Graf Developments, and a specialist in aging-in-place remodeling design, says, “People are staying in their homes and completely redoing them for the next 20 years. […] They have realized that if they buy another home, that home will still not be exactly what they want so they might as well put the money into their existing home.”
When it comes to remodeling hot spots, some areas of the home are certainly warmer than others:
Kitchen Remodels Are Still Cooking
It’s the heart of the home. That’s certainly one reason this room gets so much remodeling love. “The most popular renovations right now involve functional kitchens,” affirms Larry Greene, owner of Case Design/Remodeling in Indianapolis. “Many homeowners in the greater Indianapolis region love their neighborhoods but not their cramped, outdated kitchen. Knocking down a few walls to create an open flow between the kitchen, dining area, and even family room provides countless advantages.”
Among those advantages is increased storage space, through better use of existing space. An entire line of tasteful and timeless examples can be found in Schrock® Cabinetry, one of the quality cabinet lines offered at your local ProSource Wholesale showroom. A ProSource design expert can introduce you and your clients to a multitude of cabinet-based storage options such as solid wood tiered cutlery dividers, message center cabinets, pullout cabinets and even toekick drawers – each designed to help kitchens store more, and keep it within easy reach – without cramming or clutter.
Bathrooms – Blending Luxury And Accessibility
Especially in the master suite, homeowners are upgrading bathrooms to create spa-like spaces that artfully blend in features such as easy-reach cabinet storage and walk-in tubs, making them more accessible for users with limited mobility. Interior designer Leslie M. Stern agrees. “I am doing a lot of aging in place projects; gutting bathrooms to create accessible ones but still beautiful,” she says.
Faucets with smooth-operating lever handles may also be on a homeowner’s bathroom wish list. ProSource Wholesale offers a number of on-trend options.
Basements, Garages and Outdoor Spaces – Making Room For New Rooms
Growing families often find the extra space they need by converting a garage or basement into a family room, game room, workout space or extra bedroom.
The search for seasonal entertaining space can also take homeowners outside the home. Stephen Sardone, owner of Sardone Construction in Dallas, adds, “Outdoor living spaces are a big thing right now. People (especially Millennials) love the idea of enjoying the outdoors a lot more conveniently and often. They’re great for parties and staycations.”
Helping Homes Work More Efficiently
Contrary to the popular song, being green is becoming easier – especially with the wide array of renovating products available today. Than Merrill, founder and CEO of FortuneBuilders and CT Homes, and Amazon best-selling author on real estate investing, advises homeowners to consider the following improvements, which can also payoff in federal tax credits and refunds:
As you can see, there are many reasons why homeowners are still improving. And why your phone will be ringing, long after we ring in the New Year. After all, homeowners are realizing that there’s truly no place like home… especially with remodeling professionals like you to help them make it their perfect home.
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