The survey also showed good news about growth areas for 2013, with 78% of those polled expecting to see increases in kitchen projects and 73.2% expecting to see increases in bath projects in 2013 (see Graph 3). Strong demand was also expected for partial remodels (61%), as some homeowners begin to tackle smaller projects such as countertop replacements or appliance upgrades, rather than doing full-scale remodels.
“In today’s economy, homeowners are focusing less on large remodeling projects and more on single-room remodels or refresh endeavors to their kitchens or bathrooms,” states David Randich, president of MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc. in Jasper, IN.
While kitchens and baths are expected to be the hottest focal points, dealers and designers surveyed also expected to see smaller growth in such ancillary spaces as laundry rooms (22.8%), entertainment spaces (19.5%), home offices (17.1%) and mud rooms (15.4%).
According to recently released articles from Moen’s Market Research and Insights Group, five areas of home improvements will top the trends for 2013. The trends Moen identified include: Digital Dwellings (the insurgence of technology into homes; Reinventing Aging (the growth of Boomers and the generational differences between Leading Boomers and Trailing Boomers; Cents and Sustainability (the new consumer mentality that green must be convenient, affordable and can’t sacrifice performance; Channel Surfing 2.0 (how hands-on digital media tools have permanently altered the path to purchase), and Urban Uprising (the living small concept is getting bigger as revitalized urban centers draw more transplants).
TECHNOLOGY WITH A TWIST
For the kitchen and bath industry, technology in the home can mean anything from touchless faucets and programmable showers to appliances that can be controlled from a remote location.
“Consumer electronics have invaded our homes…and they’re not going away,” stresses Kevin Campbell, senior director of marketing-Wholesale for Moen in North Olmsted, OH. “The digital world may be constantly evolving and changing, but one thing is certain: As technology continues to infiltrate virtually every aspect of our lives, and every nook and cranny of our homes, manufacturers will be challenged to develop solutions that make the tech invasion as seamless – and stylish – as possible.
To that end, Krakoff believes “we will see the greatest gains in products that show serious leadership or performance advantages in resource conservation.”
While American Standard wants to bring electronic products into the home, “we also want to make sure that these products are very purposeful, that they’re not gimmicky, that they’re not something that doesn’t improve life for the consumers,” notes Michele Hudec, v.p. of channel marketing for the Piscataway, NJ company.
DESIGN FOR ALL AGES
The aging population will likely continue to garner attention in 2013, with most manufacturers in the kitchen and bath market acknowledging the importance of reaching the Baby Boomer generation – and their much-touted disposable income.
“Products geared to Boomers will continue to grow – especially since this segment represents 44 percent of the U.S. population,” stresses Campbell. “Boomers don’t consider ‘aging in place,’ but rather ‘living in place.’ And, as they do, they’ll continue to invest in their homes to ensure a safe, comfortable and stylish living place,” he adds.
“The baby boomer population is the largest segment of the population, and people are aging in their homes and staying alive longer,” agrees Hudec, “so aging in place is going to be one of the single most important forces in home building and in remodeling going forward for at least the next 10 years.”
Rottinghaus believes that homeowners are looking to simplify their homes in style and function and ultimately prepare for the future. “Universal Design products create an atmosphere of comfort for the entire family, and this trend will only increase in the new year,” she offers.
Moen’s Market Research and Insights shows that many consumers are no longer interested in sustainable products just for the sake of being green, notes Campbell “Today, they demand sustainable products that not only perform, but also make it easy to be green. If a green product has a cost or functional benefit over conventional products, only then does it makes sense,” he comments.