Though the economy continues its upward climb, credit lending standards are still pretty tight, which means a lot of folks will be remodeling instead of buying new homes in 2015. With the growing number of folks looking to remodel, it’s good to be aware of some of the trends your clients may be asking for this year. There are three major trends shaping up to hit the remodeling industry this year: economy, sustainability, and health.
Now more than ever we will see remodeling done to increase home value and marketability. Per usual, bathrooms and kitchens offer the greatest return in investment. Last year saw bathrooms become sprawling home spas replete with steam rooms, spa tubs, gallery lighting, entertainment systems, and accessory furniture. For 2015, as many homeowners are ripping out the bathtub/shower combo to make way for a combination multi-head luxury shower and mini-steam room. If there is a tub, it will be a freestanding soak tub. Black tile and quartz countertops will be big for 2015. Gray is making a comeback in the bathroom, as is the darker, cooler color palette.
The 2015 kitchen will emphasize a low-maintenance quality. Kitchen cabinetry will eschew raised paneling for flat faces with clean, sleek lines and modern hardware. Granite is still a popular choice for countertops. Backsplashes will be made of glass and tile mosaic composites. Large, deep, single-bowl sinks are replacing the chrome double-sink trend. For kitchen fixtures, stainless steel is being replaced by pewter, nickel, polished chrome, and oil-rubbed bronze. Pull-out faucets/sprayers will replace the single faucet plus side spray in 2015. This year will see a continuance of the “open floor plan” design trend for both kitchens and bathrooms
In many homeowners’ opinion, greener is better. The trend towards sustainability runs from design materials all the way to alternative energy. Green framing and insulation, SIP’s, and locally sourced- construction materials are on the rise for remodel projects. Energy-star certified appliances and LEED-certified windows and doors are also in demand. Homeowners want passive design that beefs up insulation and improves ventilation to maximize airflow to make the space healthier and more energy-efficient. Installation of grid-tied solar power and LED fixtures to lower energy bills are also a big remodeling trend for 2015. Finally, eco-friendly, non-toxic paint, wallpaper, carpet, and flooring in lighter earth tones with deep blue and green accent colors are the décor trends that green-minded homeowners will seek out in 2015.
Many green-building remodel projects many be eligible for tax incentive programs. Alternative power remodels can net homeowners up to 30% in tax rebates.
The aging population has brought accessibility to our attention like never before. Aging homeowners seeking to remodel their homes are looking for designs that account for their future health needs. These sensibilities are perhaps best embodied by the Universal Design movement. Universal Design, based on principles of functionality, comfort, and safety for all ages and ability levels, is described by the National Association of Home Builders as “design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” No-step entries, one-story living, wide doorways, non-slip surfaces in floors and bathtubs, floor-flush thresholds, and good lighting are examples of the design considerations that aging boomers seeking to remodel their homes are looking for.