Whether remodeling a kitchen, constructing a room addition, or installing replacement windows, millions of Americans each year undertake some type of home improvement. According to the Remodeling Activity Indicator (RAI) devised by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, homeowners continued to invest in their homes by spending $149.5 billion on remodeling during 2005.
For some homeowners, home improvement is essential as they plan to age in place, so they are seeking ground floor bedrooms, larger bathrooms, and accessible countertops. For other homeowners, getting a room addition is necessary as the family simply outgrows its current home size.
Another type of owners include those for whom investing in their homes as a way not only to improve their comfort and safety, but also their ability to build wealth and achieve financial security as home improvement is known to increase the property value.
While these homeowners renovate only to add value to their homes or make them more marketable, many of today’s homeowners are simply seeking comfort and functionality, a place to live and relax; a safe serenity.
Necessary Improvement Projects
Due to current trends in the real estate market, more and more homeowners choose to renovate and add square footage to their current residence instead of getting into the process of relocating to a new home.
“When we moved in 10 years ago as a young couple, we couldn’t afford the large three bedrooms house we always dreamt about,” says Joshua Gilmore from Studio City, CA. “Instead we went with a smaller two bedroom house. Despite its size, it had a large backyard, a fireplace, and enough space to raise our new baby. Ten years later, our baby has become a big guy and we simply felt we needed more space. At first we though to simply move to a larger house but this is high demand neighborhood and prices are sky-rocketing so we decided to simply add a room to the existing structure. After screening a dozen of local contractors we decided to hire MB Construction as we found their offer to be the best value and because from day one we were impressed by their efficiency and experience.”
Doris Gilmore says, “Indeed, we were as happy with the result as we were with the process. The MB Construction team was professional and courteous. They were sensitive to our privacy while working through our day to day routine and most important, we had our room addition on time and within budget.”
Increasing Property Value
Today’s real estate markets are filled with aging houses where returns on investment are high and generally exceed the costs of home improvements. Of course, some kinds of improvements do much better in certain places. For example, building a wood deck in Santa Monica, Calif., or Hawaii is a solid investment
Another important factor is the type of improvement as some improvements are more likely give your home more appeal and help it sell faster. High-end kitchens and luxurious master bedrooms tend to be real selling promoters almost anywhere around the country.
Improving Comfort and Functionality
Many home improvement projects trends are dictated by comfort and functionality. These factors can be often seen in kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects as with high tech gadgets and designer finishes.
The kitchen is evolving and expanding as homeowner preferences in kitchens include computerized, commercial-look stainless steel appliances, sculptural stove hoods, designer dishwashers, and custom countertops, to name a few.
Bathrooms are becoming a luxurious retreat with oversized "rain" shower heads, body-spray showers, steam showers, solid surface shower walls, and heated tile floors. The latest in bathroom technology presents the new whirlpool tub with a 42-inch flat screen TV built in.