Written by fiberondecking.com on Thursday, 25 February 2016 12:01 pm
Spending on discretionary home improvements (including kitchen and bath remodels and deck additions) rose by almost $6 billion between 2011 and 2013, according to a 2015 report compiled by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. "Improving America's Housing -- Emerging Trends in the Remodeling Market" noted that while residential and non-residential construction numbers are still sluggish, there is increased interest and activity in the home improvement industry. Among the reasons:
The housing downturn led many homeowners to fix up properties rather than trade up.
Federal and state stimulus programs spurred investments in energy efficiency upgrades.
Growing demand for rental units motivated owners to improve their properties.
US housing stock (roughly 130 million homes) continues to depreciate normally.
The amount of money individuals are spending per project is increasing as well, a trend not seen since before the housing crash.
Easy-to-maintain exterior products are top priority
The findings are good news for our economy and a rallying cry for the remodeling enthusiasts among us. Of course, although we love remodeling our homes, most of us would agree we are not so fond of home maintenance -- particularly the expensive, time-consuming variety. In fact, when the American Institute of Architects (AIA) surveyed homebuyer preferences in 2013, low-maintenance exterior products were voted the most popular characteristic of home design.
A recent article on houselogic.com highlighted several remodeling projects that will add value and enjoyment to your living space without piling on the maintenance chores. Here's a sampling:
An ingenious mix of sand, cement, and cellulose fibers, fiber-cement siding is long-lasting, resistant to fluctuating temperatures, and insect-, rot-, and fire-proof. Newer versions feature baked-on paint finishes that are guaranteed for 15 years, minimizing time and money needed for maintenance. Fiber-cement siding also delivers an impressive ROI, according to houselogic.com, making it worthy of consideration if you're in the market for new siding.