Dave Dunlap, Consolidated Construction Group

Porch Benefits — Adding or replacing a front porch can enhance a home’s architecture and curb appeal. A porch with room for seating creates a nice spot for morning coffee or a glass of wine, or simply enjoying the view on the world. A larger front porch may be perfect for outdoor entertaining and allow for better flow of party guests.

Create an Escape — A deck with a screened porch or gazebo offers a place to enjoy a shaded retreat or a spring rain shower. A patio or courtyard on the north or east side of the house is another way to enjoy nature. An outdoor kitchen and outdoor electronics can create a giant living room in the backyard.

Knockout New Spaces — Removing of a wall or two can create the needed larger area for family living or entertaining. A powder room or mudroom also may be created when existing floor area is reconfigured. Two smaller bedrooms may be combined to create a master bedroom suite that has a comfortable shower and generous closet space.

Create Counter Space — Accessories and newer appliances can free up needed counter space. A portable island can provide needed cooking space and be moved out of the way during parties. It also can be used as a buffet – even in another room! New hardware can freshen existing cabinets and new countertops can be all that’s needed to create a ‘new’ kitchen if the ‘old’ kitchen works just fine.

Tricia Sinn, Sinn Design & Build

Life Plan Improvements — Owners intend to remain in their homes longer and are now planning renovations to fit lifestyle changes they expect down the road. A young couple with infants, for example, will plan for lifestyle changes as their babies grow into grade school children, then social high-schoolers and finally leave for college. The idea is to have earlier phases of renovations that work well with later life plans.

More Amenities — Families are requesting plans for craft or hobby rooms, places for mom to enjoy. Owners have also requested to expand spaces and rooms near the kitchen: laundry rooms, dining spaces or living rooms.

Lighter Colors Sell Homes — Marble and granite surfaces are still popular. More people like painted and glazed wood surfaces inside the home, but there is a preference for lighter colors instead of the dark paints that were popular a few seasons ago.

Sam Piwowarczyk, Banner Construction

Materials Age a Home — Buyers can determine the age of a home from the materials found in the living spaces. Trends change from laminate, to Corian, to granite. Current materials will obtain the premium prices for a home-seller.

Lower Maintenance Costs — People are choosing to remain in their homes longer, for various reasons, and are searching for renovations that improve value, reduce maintenance costs and make them proud of their home. Fiber cement siding is a cement product that looks like wood, has sand and wood fibers, but looks better, lasts longer and resists hail damage.

Protect Outside Surfaces — Owners have requested changes that protect or improve the durability of their decks: waterproofing the wood, rain protection systems such as a roof above the deck, or switching to composite materials that look like wood but are more durable and lack the maintenance costs of wood.

More amenities, Less Square Footage — Families will always want larger square footage, but older owners are switching to smaller homes that have big-house amenities—such as gourmet kitchens, moldings, granite surfaces and hobby areas—and are likely to consider those renovations when purchasing a home.

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