"Experience SBI" – The Remodeling Newsletter

Want to get free tips and hints for improving the appearance and livability of your home? Trying to sell a house and want to increase the value? Or are you looking for ideas on remodeling projects? You'll find all this and a lot more in Sound Builders' newsletter "Experience SBI".kk

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HAPPY EASTER

"The spirit of Easter is all about hope, love and joyful living." - Anonymous

Remodeling Success 101

Q: What is contemporary design?

A: A contemporary kitchen is characterized by cabinets with simple lines (that is, without ornate moldings) and by metallic hardware finishes. This design style also puts high value on natural light and views to the outside, which means lots of window area. Explanations for this style’s growth include a more well-traveled populace (contemporary styling is popular worldwide) and the desire for homes with the sleek lines of high-tech products like the iPhone.

The Super Kitchen

Recent research shows what homeowners want in this crucial room.

Most people approach a kitchen remodel with at least some thought to resale value. And an upgraded kitchen does add value: a November 2016 article on Realtor.com reported that 69 percent of its home listings make the kitchen a central selling point and that homes with luxury kitchens sell eight percent faster than comparable ones in the same ZIP code.

Those luxury kitchens are hot. For its 2016 Kitchen Trends Survey, Houzz.com asked 2,700 homeowners about their product and design preferences and found strong demand for “super kitchens” that serve as the center of family life. The reason? Nearly two-thirds of homeowners spend three or more hours per day in the kitchen on activities that include cooking, dining, and entertaining.

So it’s no surprise that people are spending more on kitchen remodels. The Houzz.com survey found that nearly one in ten homeowners who remodeled a kitchen in 2016 spent more than $100,000, up seven percent from the previous two years. Another 20 percent budgeted between $50,000 and $100,000.

With the range of activities going on in kitchens, people are adding more features than ever. These include dining tables, homework spaces, TVs, wine refrigerators, and built-in coffee makers.

And with the growing popularity of outdoor living, nearly two-thirds of homeowners want to open their kitchen to a deck or patio, whether that opening consists of a sliding glass wall system or just a single entry door.

Who Wants What

Of course, these preferences aren’t monolithic. While the Houzz.com study reported that 48 percent of kitchen remodels included opening the kitchen to other rooms, Realtor.com noted regional variations. For instance, big kitchens are more popular in New England than in the Midwest, and people in the Southeast are more apt to settle for a smaller kitchen if that means they can keep a formal dining room.

What homeowners want also varies by age group, especially when it comes to design styles. Millennial homeowners (ages 25 to 34) tend to be fans of contemporary and farmhouse styling while baby boomers (ages 55 and older) are drawn more to traditional design. Millennials also spend more on pantry cabinets or islands, which are part of that farmhouse aesthetic.

Color choices vary by age group as well. “Younger buyers are more likely to keep resale value in mind and tend to choose neutral wall colors and white cabinets,” says Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz.com. “White also lightens up the kitchen and makes it feel bigger.”

When it comes to surface materials, homeowners value durability and ease of use. They want countertops that can take the heat of a hot pan, and flooring they can stand on for long periods without fatigue. Virtually everyone is interested in built-in storage, with homeowners prioritizing this “over all other functions of their kitchens,” according to the study.

Finally, while some appliance manufacturers are touting high-tech features, homeowners seem underwhelmed—a mere five percent opt for an oven they can control remotely from their smartphone. Durability and looks are more important, with 72 percent of homeowners opting for stainless steel. It seems like some things never go out of style.

Warm regards,

Jay DePhelps, CGR, CAPS
Sound Builders Inc.
(206) 246-7100

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