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Top 8 Home Remodeling Trends

Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

The overriding trend of all home remodeling projects these days is doing things on a small scale. Tackle the necessary projects now, and put the large-scale plans on your wish list to handle at a later date. Patch that leaking roof, add weather stripping around windows and doors, fix the HVAC or make siding repairs. Divide your list of home remodeling projects into two columns, the “must haves” versus the “want to haves”.

That’s not to say that people aren’t still undertaking sizeable renovations. In fact, there’s more remodeling happening simply because homeowners are content to stay put rather than upgrading into a newer home every few years. Regardless of your current situation these top home remodeling trends are something to think about. Maybe not tomorrow but hopefully sometime in the near future.

No sense in going overboard with a renovation when you can do simpler projects that make a big difference.

No sense in going overboard with a renovation when you can do simpler projects that make a big difference.

1. Update Your Kitchen

Always at the top of the list of homeowners is a total kitchen remodel. If you are in the market to sell your home you can expect to get back about 80% of your investment plus increasing the odds that your home will sell quicker. If you have the funds for a complete kitchen redo and plan to stay in your home you will no doubt appreciate the updated conveniences and energy savings.

From induction cooktops to whisper quiet dishwashers to integrated refrigeration units the latest Energy Star appliances will make your kitchen the envy of the neighborhood. However, the entire package including cabinetry, tile, flooring, lighting and new plumbing fixtures will require careful savings or the ability to get a home remodeling loan.

Here are some ideas for those of us with a limited budget. If you are tired of the 1980s color scheme, dated cabinetry and worn flooring you might want to consider a new color on the walls, cabinet painting or refacing and tile or vinyl flooring that mimics wood or stone. Or replace that one appliance that has been giving you headaches or is just about to ready to take a trip to the junk yard.

A new countertop or lighting can change the entire look of a kitchen.

A new countertop or lighting can change the entire look of a kitchen.

2. Add Visual Warmth

This doesn't mean you're necessarily beefing up your home’s insulation although that is a great investment as well. We're referring to warming up the colors in your home. The latest remodeling trend involves bringing in warm colors for your tile, fixtures, fabrics, paint and flooring.

Contemporary whites and neutrals are still popular but earth tones give your home that cozy and welcoming feel. These warmer hues blend beautifully with a modern aesthetic.Take the design a step further by complementing rich colors with metallic accents and fixtures in an oil-rubbed bronze.

Warm colors add life and warmth to a room.

Warm colors add life and warmth to a room.

3. Turn Your Bath Into a Spa Retreat

If you want to choose a room to renovate start with the bathroom. Bathroom redos are hotter than hot. They cost less than a kitchen or new addition. Start with a full remodel of your master bath and do minor updates in the other bathrooms.

Spa bathrooms are relatively easy to replicate. Just think of the hotel or resort from your last vacation. Expand the shower and install dual rain shower heads or put in a jetted soaking tub with chromatherapy lighting. Replace laminate counters with quartz or granite and top it off with dual vessel sinks. Replace outdated cabinetry with dark or light natural wood and dated flooring with a large-scale tile.

Vessel sinks, quartz counters and dark cabinetry will give your bathroom a spa feel.

Vessel sinks, quartz counters and dark cabinetry will give your bathroom a spa feel.

4. Convert to an Open Floorplan

Walls are out and open floor plans are in. If you watch home renovation programs on television you know the big trend is to blow out walls that created small, choppy rooms. New residential construction offers wide open spaces--kitchens that open up to family and dining areas, large master bedrooms with open sitting/lounging areas, open loft spaces.

Removing interior walls create a flow that gives a home the illusion of being more spacious. Even though they only take up a few inches of depth, we all want that extra square footage gained by taking down unnecessary walls.

An open floor plan creates improved flow.

An open floor plan creates improved flow.

5. Create Pleasing Outdoor Spaces

Does it seem like summers are warmer and lasting longer? Maybe it’s a sign that you need to capitalize on your outdoor living space. You can easily double the size of your indoor living area by taking advantage of your yard as an extension of your home.

If you are of a certain age you may remember mom and dad setting up lawn chairs in the driveway to catch the evening breezes during the summer months. It was also a great way to socialize with neighbors. It seems there is a trend to spend time outside again just on a grander scale.

Bring the party outside with comfortable patio seating, lighting, cushions and pillows in trendy colors. Many patios and decks now feature details that recreate living, dining and kitchen areas. Make entertaining a breeze with a teak dining set, comfy lounge chairs and durable outdoor rugs.

Another way to beat the heat is to install a pool. Simple designs are favored over elaborate pools with rock formations, waterfalls and slides. A rectangular or geometric cocktail pool will fit in a small back yard or side yard. All you need is roughly 23 x 14 feet. Add the option of heat and therapeutic jets and you have a spa pool to enjoy year-round.

Add a kitchen or fireplace to your outdoor space.

Add a kitchen or fireplace to your outdoor space.

6. Go Green

Eco-friendly home remodels are on the rise. Solar panel installation, water recycling systems, energy efficient siding and insulation are all great ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on utilities. Sustainable products such as bamboo flooring, recycled paper counter tops and architectural salvage pieces are "green" that will add beauty to your home.

One of the most popular energy efficiency upgrades are windows that replace old, single-pane models. Consider dual-pane windows with an insulating layer of argon gas sandwiched between the panes. Now homeowners are even requesting triple-pane windows.

Remove old carpet and replace  it with bamboo, sustainable hardwood or tile to give your room an updated and clean look.

Remove old carpet and replace it with bamboo, sustainable hardwood or tile to give your room an updated and clean look.

7. Hire Smart

This is one of the best home remodeling ideas out there. Thanks in part to home remodeling television shows and magazines, consumers are much more concerned about finding the best contractor to do the job. Homeowners are learning more about proper construction techniques and are researching and interviewing contractors and builders.

Before you sign a contract with anyone to remodel or renovate your home ask plenty of questions and get legitimate referrals. Take the time to do your due diligence. Check with the Better Business Bureau and state licensing boards to find out if there are any current complaints, liens or claims filed against a contractor. Never ever hire an unlicensed builder or contractor.

8. Spend Within Your Means

All but gone are the days of home equity and remodeling loans. Unless you have stellar credit you will probably have to save up for your next remodel. The cash trend for home renovations is here to stay at least for the foreseeable future. Homeowners are setting up a home contingency budget and selecting projects that can be accomplished within the funds available on hand. That's a good rule of thumb for any household spending.

Create a home remodeling budget and work on projects as you save to avoid going into debt.

Create a home remodeling budget and work on projects as you save to avoid going into debt.

© 2012 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on January 24, 2014:

john cartner, thanks for your input!

john cartner on January 23, 2014:

Home Remodelling is the improvement of building, home,shops and so on.Home improvement or remodelling is the process of renovating or making additions to one's home. Building materials and hardware for home improvement projects are typically purchased at home improvement stores.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on September 19, 2012:

Thanks for the comment Everhart Construction! I will check out your portfolio.

Everhart Construction on September 19, 2012:

Beautiful remodeling pictures! We have been very busy this year, and have noticed a big trend toward outdoor living spaces and greener materials as well. Check out our remodeling portfolio at http://www.everhartconstruction.com/projects/outdo...

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