Whether you need to reduce spending or want to get more value, the economy likely is driving your choices when it comes to home improvement. When times are tough, we choose practical products that will last a long time. They're durable and their design is timeless.
- Bigger rooms: We're spending more time at home — cooking, enjoying our families and entertaining. So homeowners continue to favor large, open spaces and less-formal rooms. Those with dining or TV rooms separated from the kitchen are removing walls to create "great rooms" like the ones you'll find in so many newly built homes.
- Bare floors: People are ripping out their carpeting and installing harder floor surfaces, including ceramic tile, hardwood or engineered wood, and laminates. The hard surfaces are easier to keep clean, more stain repellent and less likely to collect dust. One exception: the bedroom, where carpet is still a popular choice.
- Reuse: In remodeling, reuse trumps recycling. If you're replacing your kitchen countertops with something higher-end, perhaps you can use that old vinyl slab in a craft room or laundry room. When expanding your patio, you might be able to mix old with new, and embellish the patio with new furniture and accessories.
- Product knowledge: Homeowners pay attention to price as well as news about product recalls, defects and durability. They're asking where their drywall was manufactured and how the look of a wood cabinet will change as it ages. They're asking more questions and doing more product research.
- Kitchen upgrades: If you can freshen only one room in your house, it probably will be the kitchen. People investing in their homes are looking for the greatest value, and an upgraded kitchen gives back. It's a selling point when putting your house on the market, a convenience if you plan to stay and a point of pride when family and friends visit.
- Simpler designs: Less is more in 2010. Homeowners are getting back to basics with clean, simple, timeless designs that create a comfortable home that's less ornate and easier to maintain. They are choosing updated products and styles that are affordable and functional.
- Looking ahead: People are considering how the changes will affect them in their mature years. Bathroom remodels typically include the installation of grab bars, curbless showers, wider doors, higher toilets and taller vanities.
- Going green: How green a homeowner gets still depends on how much more they might have to spend for an energy-efficient or environmentally sound product. Still, more are looking at such products as tankless water heaters and dual-flush toilets, which save energy and water.
- Muted colors: Dusty blues, muddy browns and muted purples are pushing greens, golds and bright colors from indoor and outdoor design palettes. Homeowners are gravitating toward calm, comforting colors and are embracing such shades as gray, eggplant, taupe and earth tones.
- Paying cash: More homeowners are saving for projects so they can pay as they go.
Courtesy: Pensacola Home & Garden