The concept of “home for life” has become an increasingly prevalent trend for the home building industry. Homeowners have redefined their idea of a “dream home” and have made it clear they’re staying put… literally. In fact, 84 percent of the respondents in a Hanley Wood survey said they would like to remain in their current homes through retirement. Instead of moving to a larger home, homeowners are taking matters into their own hands by redefining the quality of an existing space. This presents a unique and profitable opportunity for remodeling companies to take advantage of – the key is to recognize exactly where these opportunities lie.
Jeff Shea, owner of The Siding Doctor, has been involved with the home building industry for the past 30 years and has noticed the upgrades in which homeowners place value.
“Homeowners today are working their way through the house with small high-end upgrades like windows and doors, and installing other items to reduce energy use,” says Shea. “They are trying to avoid debt. The available resources for homeowners to upgrade are much more limited than they were ten years ago.”
This presents a challenge for remodelers looking to give business a boost. It is important for businesses to think of their customers’ needs and where the home is most likely to expand. In the past decade alone, the U.S. census has reported an
increase in multigenerational family homes of 30 percent. As a result, families are remodeling not only to upgrade, but to increase the overall comfort level within a home. Homeowners, therefore, are redefining the value of their space in places like the basement and the outdoors.
To begin with, the most commonly thought-of area for remodeling would be the basement. Most homeowners in the past saw this area as a “work-in-progress” type of space. Now basements are being turned into budget-conscious “apartment style” living spaces as a way to adapt to their new multigenerational family demands. With the economy still in recovery, homeowners are looking for efficient remodeling that doesn’t require undertaking a major project.
“There is a growing market of do-it-yourselfers in search of practical improvements that add real value,” said Jonathan Zublena, product manager at Sauder Woodworking. “Sauder anticipates that many home improvements will include upgrading existing ceiling systems as a means to improve the overall value perception of a room or a home.”
Another option for changing the perception of a home is to transform an outdoor space into an outdoor living room. Homeowners have discovered that their backyard is more than just an area for kids – it is an area for entertaining as well. As a result, remodelers are receiving more requests from homeowners for direction on creating outdoor kitchens, entertainment areas and fire pits.
Admittedly, in terms of time and resources, outdoor kitchen construction is the most demanding aspect of the outside space. However, an outdoor kitchen traditionally garners the largest return on investment. Companies like Danver offer a one-stop shop for appliances and products equipped to handle outdoor living environments – from stainless steel cabinetry to pizza ovens, outdoor heaters, insect systems, cocktail stations and more.
Most – if not all – home renovations today occur to achieve one goal: to increase the quality of living in a house as homeowners readjust for long-term occupancy. Home and building product manufacturers and remodelers alike understand this critical pivot in home trends and have thus far adapted quite effortlessly.