The housing market continues to show no clear signs of rebounding substantially in the near future. As a result, more and more homeowners are looking to renovation projects as ways to add value, save money and enhance the overall comfort of their homes. Frequent themes of improvement include renovating the home’s kitchen, developing outdoor living space, and implementing environmentally friendly and energy-efficient living solutions.
Kitchens are easily the most popular room to renovate. Partly this is the result of so many facets involved with a kitchen—from flooring to countertops to cabinets, from sinks to islands to appliances—they allow for all kinds of options so that the homeowners can create a room representative of their personal style and epicurean interests.
Within kitchen renovations, there is really no limit to the breadth of the undertaking. Some may choose to take down walls and construct a cathedral ceiling to create a contemporary metro look; others may work within the wall confines but replace everything within them.
With so many new innovations in appliances today, many are trending. Some features that seem especially fashionable include featuring built-in coffee stations and induction cooktops, which use induction heating to directly heat a cooking vessel as opposed to relying on heat transfer.
Another trend that is booming is the creation of new living spaces outside of a home’s walls. Improved materials and appliances are allowing homeowners in all kinds of climates the ability to create second kitchens and living spaces. From basic to elaborate, from Tiki bars to Tuscan brick pizza ovens to second living rooms complete with couch and television, the benefits are immediate and wide-ranging: a second kitchen or living room (or both) adds to a home’s overall value, and the additional space and change of scenery allows for enhanced living.
In addition to the intangible feeling that comes from doing the right thing, many homeowners are retrofitting their homes with energy-saving features that not only save them money, but also increase the worth and appeal of their home. The installation of solar roof panels for environmentally friendly heating and cooling, and the replacement of old, drafty windows and doors for energy-efficient ones are just two of the more common projects growing in popularity.
Just as important to consider are the types of materials used in a renovation project. Bamboo flooring has been a popular choice for a while compared to traditional hardwood, as bamboo is a natural renewable resource that features durability comparable to popular hardwoods. Recycled glass surfaces are a newer trend, growing in usage because of the array of vivid colors and patterns to choose from, as well as the fact that they are easy to maintain and are comparable in price to similar surface selections.
Certainly, the selection of energy-efficient appliances also make it easy to notice how much electricity, gas and water your appliances are helping you save after getting your first bill with the new features installed.
When you start your renovation project, be sure to have a good sense of your budget, and interview a few contractors and kitchen or other room specialists to offer ideas of what may or may not work. Gathering pictures of ideas you are thinking about will also help the specialist get a better sense of what you’re looking for. Along the same lines, shopping for appliances before your visit to a showroom will help you speak more knowledgeably about what you’re hoping to accomplish.