Kitchen, bathroom remodels lead as aging-in-place picks up

Dive Brief:

  • Kitchen renovations were the most popular type of remodeling project in 2016, according to the National Association of Home Builders, narrowly beating bathrooms. As part of the Remodeling Market Index survey, 81% of remodelers surveyed said kitchens were their most common project last year, while 80% said bathrooms were the most common. 

  • Just over half (53%) of respondents said whole-house remodeling projects were common, the biggest share since the NAHB began the survey in 2001. Room additions (46%) and window or door replacement (36%) followed. 

  • Kitchen and bath projects have led the list since its inception. Bath projects reached an all-time high last year, with 81% of remodelers naming them a common project, and kitchens repeated the feat this year.  

Dive Insight:

Remodeling is on an upward trajectory, estimated to grow 2% per year through 2025, per the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. Most of that spending will be among millennials and baby boomers, as first-time buyers renovate older starter homes and the 55+ group upgrades its existing homes for aging-in-place.  

Indeed, aging-in-place remodeling is experiencing an upswing: A recent NAHB survey found that 80% of remodeling firms did some form of work in that sector in Q4 2016, up 68% from 2013. HomeAdvisor reported that six in 10 owners currently over the age of 55 planned to stay put.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association turned out similar results in its 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Report. It found that the most popular amenities were in the safety and health category, such as comfort-height toilets, shower seats and no-threshold showers.

The study also revealed that contemporary and transitional styles are now more popular than traditional; whites and grays continue to reign (including an uptick in white fixtures); ceramic tile remains a go-to material for flooring, with some movement by high-quality vinyl; and water-conserving fixtures are now quite common.

For the kitchen, Houzz’s 2017 trend report spotlights colorful cabinetry (though white dominates), particularly as a way to personalize the space; jewel tones like ruby reds and emeralds as accents; flat-panel doors; smart appliances; and windows as a prominent feature.

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Filed Under: Residential Building Design