Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Bay Area Remodeling Trends

Architecture is a regional issue. The design and feel of a home is heavily influenced by where it is located. For example, you would not expect to find a ranch style home in the North East or a southern mansion in the North West. The same applies to remodeling trends. Some designs and materials are more suitable for some parts of the country than for others. And once a few people in one region start remodeling their homes in a certain way, it becomes a trend. And following this trend is not just a matter of keeping up with the Jones’. Or at least it shouldn’t be. Generally speaking regional trends have value because they are proven to be right for the region in terms of comfort, looks and durability. So what are the trends in the Bay Area?

Bay Area Remodeling

Earlier it used to be people who had owned their homes for many years who went in for remodeling. While they still do, they are now being joined by fairly new homeowners who may have possessed the property for just a couple of years. This is because the spate of bankruptcies and foreclosures in the last few years made home buying affordable to a larger number of people. Many of these homes did not meet the ideal specifications of the buyers but the prices were so attractive that they bought them. After a couple of years their finances have recovered to the extent that they can now plan on remodeling to get their homes exactly the way they want them.

Among the hot trends in the Bay Area are:

Removing walls to create an open feel and give more space in the home. Among the most popular are removing walls that separate the kitchen from the rest of the house, especially the dining room or family room. This allows for the family to be more involved in food preparation and gets rid of the feeling that the kitchen is cut off from the rest of the home.

Bathroom remodeling is big. Even small bathrooms are now being remodeled to give them a spa like feel. And if the bathroom is big enough, then the sky is the limit. The two hot issues are the look of the room and the features. Should it be elegant and laid back? Or efficient to encourage people to go in and out quickly. Both are okay and it really is what the family wants that will decide the look of the bathroom. And for the master bathroom the old traditional tub is often being replaced by a large walk in shower with vast expanses of frameless glass.

Eco-friendly remodeling is another hot trend. It is no longer limited to simple things like recycled glass counter tops or bamboo flooring, although both are still popular. Low VOC paint and adhesives and energy efficient windows are increasing in popularity. Upgrading an old HVAC system to a modern one that is more effective as well as being more energy efficient is another popular home remodeling project. Very hot are “smart thermostats” that ‘learn’ living habits and set up the most efficient energy usage plans.

Custom remodeling is another hot topic. More and more people are looking for ways to make their homes more functional to meet their specific needs. Things like special phone and tablet recharging stations are great for those who are online a lot. Special built in lighting to give a home a unique look is also popular. And home automation is growing fast because of the time and labor saving options it offers as well as the enhanced security devices that are available.

The bottom line is that while it is a good idea to look at trends when planning a remodel, what you finally go in for should be what works for you.

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