HOMEOWNERS LOOK TO UPGRADE THEIR EXISTING SPACE AS ECONOMY RECOVERS
Steven Kleber, President National Remodeling Foundation, Cites Trends and Recognizes New Products, Explains Why Consumers are Finally Ready to Consider Cost Efficient Renovations for Increasing Return on their Residential Investments
The remodeling industry is experiencing a steady uptick, as the nation’s recovering economy encourages renewed homeowner investment. Following one of the most significant plunges in the U.S. real estate channel’s history, homeowners are now opting to consider their existing space for their residential upgrades.
“During past recessions we experienced mortgage applications declining while interest rates rose resulting in a drop of new homes being constructed,” explains Steven Kleber, president of the National Remodeling Foundation. “Remodeling permits by contrast during those cycles traditionally increased, as homeowners sought to capture equity in the rising values of their homes. However, during the most recent housing crisis, remodeling permits simultaneously decreased in concert with new home construction as foreclosures and declining home values combined negatively to shake homeowner confidence. The good news is we’re finally seeing evidence of that long anticipated turn around.”
“In this current recovery, homeowners are becoming more confident, demonstrating pent-up demand for home and building products. And they are seeking to take advantage of efficient use of their existing space – both inside and outside of their homes,” further claims Kleber.
In fact, The Conference Board this week reported that their July Consumer Confidence Index soared to 90.9, the highest level since October 2007 while they forecast that the trend was likely to continue.
The rise of the “Pro-sumer”
A new type of consumer – the “pro-sumer” – has emerged during this current wave of remodeling. These homeowners desire commercially proven, professional grade products that are fabricated and re-purposed for specific residential applications.
For example, the Feeney, Inc. LED Rail Light Kits for DesignRail® Aluminum Railing provide unique illumination for outdoor living environments for consumers looking no further than their own backyards for home space to improve. The LED technology behind these light kits has been used for years in high traffic retail and hospitality environments, where durable high-quality lighting systems are important for ambiance and safety. Feeney’s DesignRail® Aluminum Railing with LED Light Kits and CableRail stainless steel railing infill is finding a growing market among homeowners who desire an attractive deck railing that doesn’t impede views of their landscape during the day and provides for a beautiful outdoor space at night.
Similar in attributes, stainless steel cabinetry is gaining popularity in weather-sensitive, outdoor living applications.
Consistently specified by restaurant designers for commercial kitchen surfaces where durability and easy-to-clean performance has been critical for food preparation areas, stainless steel now is being fabricated into cabinetry by Danver – made in America in Wallingford, Connecticut. For many consumers, not just any plain silver grey finish will suffice. Responding to that demand, Danver has introduced coated stainless steel doors in designer color finishes including wood grain patterns that now provide homeowners with outdoor kitchens featuring every convenience of traditional interior environments.
Social Cooking and Living Life Inside-Out
Recently the kitchen has become a room for communal activity, as food preparation and bartending bring people together in social gatherings and at parties. Today’s outdoor kitchen has followed suit, expanding far beyond the lone barbeque grill with appliances such as the Evo cooktop that connect multiple cooks and dining audiences to engage in social cooking experiences out-of-doors.
In an effort to enjoy outdoor living through all four seasons, homeowners are seeking greater year-round shelter from nature’s elements. Walpole Outdoor pergolas are an attractive choice among renovators and come in a variety of colors applied to easy-to-maintain cellular PVC available in convenient, ready to assemble kits and with retractable shade canopies.
Sometimes Only Real Wood Will Do
When it comes to curb appeal, homeowners are making high impact home fashion trend statements with simple replacements of their front doors — increasing their homes’ energy efficiency, while setting architectural style highlights at their guests’ first point of contact when they visit.
While fiberglass and steel doors remain popular choices, some homeowners demand the authentic aesthetics that only real wood doors provide. Yet, wood doors traditionally have inherent maintenance costs that restrict greater audience acceptance. Not anymore. The collection of Masonite Torrefied doors are fabricated through a process that actually heats the door during manufacturing, increasing its resistance to natural rot, weather and termites. What’s more and as an added bonus, the doors take on an attractive toasty brown finish that accentuates natural graining patterns.
Furniture Expands the Foundation for Interior Design
While purchasing a new dining room table or sofa certainly has been an easy way to update a home’s interior design for living spaces,
homeowners today now are applying this same strategy to the bathroom. High quality bathroom furniture, such as a vanity by Ronbow, is becoming the central focus from which consumers are crafting bathroom renovation plans, much like couture designers who build a fashion runway collection. As such, if the bathroom vanity is the new “little black dress” of bathroom design, then GRAFF is the accessories. With a wide array of high design, high function faucets such as the award-winning Ametis collection, GRAFF products function as “jewelry” that accentuates the bath furniture.
Design in Unexpected Places
Organization is frequently at the top of the list of desired renovations, leading many homeowners to invest in built-in systems installed in existing closets. WoodTrac closet systems are customizable to virtually any closet size. These easy-to-install wood grain closet systems offer significant cost savings over traditional wire or white melamine alternatives.
popular renovation option in residential applications. The paneling can be applied over any ceiling surface and creates the look of a luxurious, custom-crafted three-dimensional ceiling at a fraction of the cost of expensive trim carpentry and coffered millwork.
Aren’t All Refrigerators Cool?
Yes, functionally speaking, all refrigerators do provide a cool factor – that’s what they are designed to do. Yet, today’s consumer is
demanding more from their traditional kitchen appliance. In fact, many homeowners wish to express their style through their kitchen equipment and find these appliances the perfect icons to help define their personalities. Elmira Northstar refrigerators boast a retro, mid-century inspired design while remaining technologically up to date with energy efficient performance. These fridges are available in nine not-so-standard colors, or can be customized to meet any customer’s color aesthetic.
“Ultimately, consumers need to be aware of the industry’s leanings towards renovating and upgrading existing space,” states Kleber. “In coming years, smart homeowners will undoubtedly experience a significant return on investment for the improvements they’re making now.”