By Leo Cannyn, PMP, P.E., ENV SP

Principal Project Manager

Beryl Engineering & Inspection

Home prices are rising, and mortgage rates have more than doubled since last year. Gone are the days of the rush to outbid competitors for your dream home. In today’s housing market, more people are choosing to stay put, repairing, renovating, and improving their existing properties.

Additionally, because we spend more time in our homes, renovation trends show that we want to maximize our space, and we want our houses to work smarter and last longer for the money invested.

Here are some of the top trends we are seeing.

Energy Updates – With the surge in energy costs, who wouldn’t want to take some time to make their home more efficient? The Inflation Reduction Act passed in August offers many tax credits and incentives for homeowners to go green. Updates may include new insulation, better windows, smart thermostats, or solar panels.

Home Office Space – Many homeowners work from home and want to upgrade a bedroom to an office, or add a new space entirely. For remote workers with kids or pets at home, a private area is a necessity for productivity.

Bold Accent Wall – Wallpaper is making a comeback. A bold print, at least on one wall, is now a great option to change a room and create an instant focal point. Wallpaper is also less time-consuming than painting.

Kitchen and Bath Updates – Bathrooms and kitchens have always been high on the list of home improvements. Changes can be anything from a can of paint on the walls to a complete renovation taking everything down to the studs and starting over. Many are incorporating smart technologies such as motion-activated sinks and lighting. However, fully renovating a bath or kitchen has the most impact on a home’s value.

Creating a Healthy Space – Today’s homeowners think more about their health and long-term well-being. Remodeling trends can include better lighting to enhance the mood, chemical-free water filtration systems, and air purification systems. Last but not least, to minimize the hard water damage to your skin and appliances, a soft water system for the home.

General Maintenance and Repairs – Inflation is high, and many homeowners are looking to complete a few necessary repairs or maintenance items that have always been on their list. Small fixes such as switch and outlet repairs are popular. Some are choosing to have their AC ducts and vents serviced or repaired. In addition, many budget-seeking consumers find it easy to get a fresh look in the living room with a new paint color or some colorful throw pillows.

Floorplan Function – Rooms are serving a new purpose. In the last few years, distinct rooms have been requested for the purpose of game rooms, home gyms, music studios, or teen retreats. This trend allows homeowners to optimize space to suit their unique lifestyles.

Hurricane Preparedness ImprovementsHurricane season was particularly difficult last year. Now is the time to address some changes that can help homeowners be more prepared going into the next season. This might include raising properties in flood zones, adding hurricane windows, or making your roof more resistant to hurricane-force winds with proper roofing materials and hurricane straps.

Outdoor Living Space – After spending more time at home during the pandemic, homeowners are seeking outdoor experiences to entertain or relax. Additionally, outdoor cooking has become popular over the years. Rather than gathering by a simple patio grill, homeowners add backyard decks, kitchens, pizza ovens, and fire pits. In addition, many gatherings now enjoy the convenience of refrigerators, counters, sinks, and storage space for cooking utensils.

Accessibility for Aging in Place – Many homeowners are choosing to build features to support aging before they are needed. Simple changes include strategically placed outlets and switches or a large curbless shower with seating.

There’s no right or wrong way to remodel your space. Any project considered should take in your needs, personality, and budget. And while certain renovations will add more value to your home should you sell, homeowners are happiest when they make decisions to create a space exactly how they want it, not by how well it will sell when the time comes.