Energy Efficient Homes
Homeowners in 2017 continue to be aware of rising energy costs and the potential impact on our environment. Materials such as ENERGY STAR appliances, Low-E windows, efficient heating & cooling systems, LED lighting, and effective insulation are showing up all across the country. Many homeowners are going as far as zero energy homes, which are homes that actually produce more energy than they use.
Although many smart devices have taken a hit in the news recently, homeowners are still buying home automation devices regardless of privacy concerns. Nest Learning Thermostat, Amazon Echo, Google Home, Wink Hub 2, Nest Cam Outdoor, SimpliSafe Home Security, Philips Hue Bulbs, and Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to smart home gadgets.
One of the biggest trends continuing into 2017 is having large windows. Homeowners want as much natural light as possible so when replacing older windows or building new construction, large windows are center stage in most rooms. Not only will the popularity of large windows continue to grow but more specifically large vinyl windows in lieu of fiberglass or wood windows. Vinyl windows are typically less than wood or fiberglass windows and are starting to gain more popularity with homeowners.
Homeowners are not only concerned with their building products being green but they are leaning towards earth-centric selections as well. Natural hardwoods for flooring, live edge slabs for counters, and even tile that looks like wood are emerging as the popular choices this year.
Open floor plans have been trending across the country for years now. Homeowners want spaces that are versatile, flexible and inclusive. A space that can be used as living, dining, media, or anything in between is the first thing on most homeowner’s wish lists. This trend can prove to be difficult with older New England architecture but a good builder will collaborate with other design professionals to ensure opening up a space is done correctly.
Large Walk-In Showers
Large walk-in showers are replacing the oversized tubs of the 1980s & 90s. Homeowners are choosing walk-in spaces with elaborate tile work, benches, rain shower heads, niches and even the latest in smart home technology. There are shower systems available that include music and lighting functionality. Falling in line with the need for energy efficiency, modern day showers can be built using effective water conserving products.
Useful & Livable Outdoor Spaces
Seamless indoor-outdoor living has become the extension of the open floor plan spaces we’ve seen over the past few years. Outdoor spaces are no longer just a place for grass. Homeowners are requesting functional hardscape, kitchens, and fire pits for outdoor gatherings.
White & Gray
White cabinetry has been the top trend for the past several years but gray is moving it’s way into that spot. Homeowners are choosing neutral colors for not only cabinetry but also, tile, countertops and flooring. Island cabinetry of varying colors is also trending.
Woods Hole Addition
Value engineering is essentially a method to improve the value of products by looking at their function versus their cost. Once examined, a product can either be improved in function or reduced in cost. This is where having an experienced professional can benefit your project immensely. When applying it to residential projects, it is mainly a cost-saving feature for homeowners. One example, ensuring kitchen and baths are designed with standard sized cabinetry therefore eliminating the costly search for custom pieces. This small oversight happens more often than you would think, costing homeowners unnecessary money.
Multi-generational living is on the rise across the country as it gives aging parents a sense of independence and can be easier for the family member providing the care. There are many economic factors that play into this trend, including cost of nursing home facilities, cost of child care, housing costs, and overall living expenses. Homeowners are concerned with their homes ability to accommodate the needs of other family members staying for longer periods of time, in-law suites provide a suitable alternative for families to care for their loved ones.