Four 2013 Home Improvement Trends to Watch

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eHow Home Blog

Prior to the decline in the housing market, homeowners were focused on supersizing their homes and installing over-the-top upgrades fit for shows like the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” While homeowners have not completely fallen out of love with McMansions, they have turned their attention more to function (how they really live in their homes) by asking themselves: “Do we really need more space, or do we need to reconfigure our existing space?”

These home improvement trends for 2013 continue on this path to practicality:

Open Floor Plans: With the average home in the United States at least 30 years old, there are many floor plans that need updating to align with how homeowners actually live in their homes in the 21st century.  Homeowners are aligning form and function by connecting the kitchen (what has become the heart of the home) to adjoining eating, drinking, and socializing areas. They are also modernizing other areas of the home and making changes that accommodate multigenerational households.

Energy Efficient Upgrades: Instead of making a series of energy efficient upgrades one at a time, homeowners are taking a ‘wholistic’ approach and making them at the same time so these upgrades can work together to provide the most benefit.  This ‘wholistic’ approach allows homeowners to increase their home’s performance and comfort while maximizing their energy and financial savings.

Aging in Place: There is no place like home for vibrant older homeowners who want to maintain their independence and stay in their homes instead of going to a nursing or retirement home. In anticipation of potential decreased mobility, these homeowners are making the appropriate alterations to their homes for increased safety and accessibility.  A few examples of these alterations include, but are not limited to:

*    Barrier-free entryways that help eliminate tripping and make it easier to gain access to your home if confined to a wheelchair, crutches or a walker
*    Roll-in showers with height adjustable handheld and fixed showerheads
*    Ample clearance beneath bathroom and kitchen counters

Low Maintenance Yards: The reality is that lawns require a lot of care.  Water-wise homeowners are eliminating their lawns altogether and replacing them with plants native to their region.  Or, for those not ready to eliminate their lawn, they are maintaining a small lawn as an accent area, instead of having a lawn that dominates the yard. By doing so, they’re saying good-bye to high water bills.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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