Top 10 Home Improvement Trends in 2010

From the early 1990's until 2008 renovation trends leaned toward "the bigger the better" mentality. Many small homes were enlarged through room additions and by adding stories while others were torn down and replaced by a bigger home with more square footage.

While the structures grew in size the interiors were not ignored. Bathrooms and kitchens were enlarged featuring modern, hi-tech appliances and fixtures. Flooring products such as ceramic tile, bamboo, exotic hardwoods, cork and natural stone replaced natural staples like carpet, vinyl and oak and homeowners rushed out to get the newest products.

However, the downturn in the economy has drastically changed the renovating scene and the era of the "McMasion" has waned. Granite countertops and expensive cabinetry are being passed over for more modest materials although conveniences such as drawer freezers and other ergonomic conveniences are still being considered. In other words homeowners are still looking for style and quality but changes are more apt to be cosmetic rather than aesthetic. This trend is fueled by homeowners who want to spruce up their properties to sell them in a soft market

1. Exterior Siding

Rather than spending $20,000 on landscaping, or even more on a swimming pool, real estate agents all over the country are reporting that homeowners are sticking to the nuts and bolts of home improvement and sprucing up the exteriors of their home. However, they are still going for quality such as fiber-cement siding over vinyl or repairing and painting stucco. In addition, trim repairs are popular and homeowners are opting for vinyl or composite, pre-painted trim.

2. Entry Doors

Another big exterior upgrade is the front entry door. After a prospective buying takes in the neighborhood and exterior look of the home the next thing that registers is the entranceway. White fiberglass used to lead the way many are scaling down their desires and going for a cheaper, but just as realistic, steel door. The new steel doors are also being load with low-E and argon-filled glass and side-lites to keep both heat and air conditioning costs down. And because the doors are not expensive homeowners are choosing artistic lite and grill patterns that compliment the home.

3. Windows

Windows have always been a good investment when selling a home and buyers are demanding good window systems. This is because up until recently replacing old windows with new models was always an expensive undertaking. Today, new windows are being manufactured from vinyl and it is possible to get hundreds of amazing designs and glass types without breaking the bank. In addition, many states are giving grants and tax credits for energy-efficient window replacement and this can return as much as $70 a window. So, the quadruple benefits of new windows are:

  1. Attractive to buyers

  2. Energy-efficient

  3. Maintenance-free

  4. Grants and tax credits

4. Decks

Modestly-priced decks not only provide extra living space for a home but will increase the re-sale value. Because they are relatively simple to build many homeowners will buy the materials and build a simple deck on their own. Upscale are decks made with composite, vinyl and metal decking are still popular but in a more simple patterns to keep the cost down.

5. Pool and Hot Tubs

In many part of the U.S. swimming pools are still very popular but not the large tanks that were built during the past two decades. Above-ground pools and pre- molded hot tuns and jacuzzis are not only less expensive they can be easily maintained and this appeals to buyers.

6. Home Offices

One trend that has continued to grow over the past twenty years is the home office. The downsizing of the economy has promoted more homeowners to avoid the long and expensive commutes and conduct their business from home. This includes self-employed homeowners as well as those who receive benefits from companies to conduct business from home.

7. Interiors

As a throw-back to the 1970's bold colors are coming back , especially in furnishings. Red-colored furniture complimented by similar wall coloring is becoming very popular. In addition, red is also a popular color for appliances such as washers, dryers, fridges and stoves.

8. Green Theme

Just because the economy is hurting does not mean that homeowners are pulling back from buying energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly products. Self-replenishing products like bamboo and cork are hot as well as natural fibers for carpets and wallpaper. Water-saving, as well as energy-saving, devices are appealing to buyers who want long-term energy savings.

9. Landscaping

The return of the vegetable garden is one of the biggest landscape stories, being fueled by pictures of the First Lady's garden at the White House. Although labor-intensive a space for a vegetable garden is a good selling feature, especially in the summer when colorful bounties such as tomatoes are an appealing sight. Lawns are shrinking in favor of perennials and native shrubs.

10. Attic and Basement Space

Homeowners vying for more space are more apt to develop attic and basement space rather than add rooms. For long-term plans occupants can slowly develop these space while those who want instant results can have extra room for a fraction of the cost of a standard room addition.

For more information on new renovation trends consult our Contractor Directory or simply post your project online.

Posted by: kim
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