You have spent hours on Pinterest and flipped through dozens of Architectural Design magazines to assemble a plan to construct the home of your dreams. But, will your design stand the test of time, unlike the ones of decades-past? (Yep, we are getting major flashbacks to burnt orange couches of the 1970s and neon signs of the 1980s.)
Whether you would like to reinvent an existing space or start brand new, there are a few things you should know when remodeling or building. Three local builders give you tips for a trendy and personalized palace.
In years past, the dream home was a gigantic 5-bedroom, 5-bath home, but not so much these days say these three local builders.
Vince Kimbel, owner of Kimbel Construction: Customers want a smaller, more affordable-sized home that “still gives them the budget to include nicer features throughout.”
Joe Kroll, owner of Joe Kroll Builder: Middle age or older customers want smaller homes with less maintenance and upkeep, like those he works on in Norton Commons.
Tom Waller, owner of Signature Homes: “(Clients are) reconstructing their lives to make them simpler.” Younger families, like those with young children and dogs, are still creating family homes in traditional homes with more land. Now, the dream home for most people is 2,400-to-2,600-square-feet.
Are you trying to decide whether to move into a brand-new home or to remodel your current home?
Vince: “Well, each client is different, but the trend is moving toward a remodel. The cost of new construction is getting very expensive, and with less and less land/lot options available, building a new home can be outside a comfortable budget for many people,” he says. “Renovating an existing home, whether it be a whole house renovation or a kitchen, bath, or outdoor living project, can add value for a lot less cost than building an entire new home”, says Vince. “Many of the clients I talk to already love their neighborhoods and their adjacent amenities and the thought of leaving a home they’ve been in for a while is not desirable, so modernizing an existing home to give them the features they need is perfect,” he says.
Tom: Open floor plans are still trendy. In his homes, he sees simple lines and shorter, 10-foot ceilings on the first floor with 8-foot door openings. “I’m not seeing a lot of wasted space,” he says. “Older clientele are asking for real hardwood floors,” says Tom.
Vince: “A trend I see as most desired is the Craftsman-style home. These homes include tapered columns, wider eaves, exterior window surrounds, and flat trim details. The flooring I like to recommend most is, and will always be, hardwood,” Vince states. “It’s easy to care for and gives any home a timeless look.” Indoor entertainment spaces like theater rooms have been exchanged for outdoor entertainment, whether it’s a screened porch, a grilling area, or an in-ground pool. “I think homeowners want to enjoy their homes year-round and having a special place outside with these types of amenities makes them love their home that much more,” Vince says.
Joe: “Younger people want engineered hardwood, which has a lot of variety and less maintenance.”
All three builders agree their customers want a personalized pad.
Vince: “My company has never built the same plan twice, and I enjoy a unique design.” He always recommends that clients go neutral on cabinetry and countertops, then add color on walls, draperies, and accessories. “I’ve seen a lot of older homes get renovated, so I can say quite certainly that neutral countertops that got installed back in the 80s still look pretty good, but I haven’t seen one teal or fuchsia-colored countertop that still looks good today,” he says.
Tom: Quartz countertops and backsplashes, for example, can be customized in a variety of color choices. Another trend Tom has seen is families adding two laundry rooms in a home, one for the top floor where kids sometimes sleep, and one on the bottom floor. This can save time and is less dangerous for parents who carry linens up and down the stairs.
Joe: Clients in Norton Commons haven’t gone completely green, but most products he uses are naturally more efficient.
Tom: “Our projects use foam insulation to increase energy efficiency, and thus lower the client’s electric bill from approximately $235-240 to $185-$190 a month. A tankless hot water system can also help homeowners save money.”
Vince: “(Kimbel Construction) was the first ENERGY STAR custom builder in Kentucky in 1999. I think it’s absolutely a must to consider energy-efficient practices. These save our clients money from day one. Incorporating ‘green’ and energy-efficient products like efficient windows and doors, insulation, effective air sealing, and properly-sized and efficient HVAC equipment, can make a home the most comfortable home a client can ever live in,” he says.
Tom: Many of his customers are asking for high-tech security systems that open and close garage doors, and cameras throughout the interior and exterior.