As the weather cools down in much of the country, cozy interiors take center stage with home buyers. In addition to the temperature, design trends are changing, too.
BUILDER recently talked with Courtney Rogers, senior interior designer at Atlanta-based builder Edward Andrews Homes. Here’s what she had to say about the top interior and décor trends the firm’s design center has tracked this fall, and predictions for winter.
Painted, Colorful Ceilings
Ceilings are often an underutilized feature in homes, but much can be done to draw the eye up and emphasize ceiling height. Accent colors are great but if that’s too bold, buyers can consider adjusting the sheen of their ceiling paint to be more reflective—a small change that’s an easy way to instantly elevate a space. Those who want to go a step further could consider incorporating different trim details and textures like wood paneling, wallpaper, or brick overlay.
Warm Gray Cabinets
Gray is here to stay, and it’s just been refreshed with new life. When gray cabinetry first made a splash, we saw it paired with cool hues and chrome hardware. Now, we are seeing gray take on a warmer tone, paired with brass hardware in bathrooms and as accent cabinetry in kitchens.
Bold-Colored Fabrics and Accessories
The design world is moving away from the the monochromatic trend. Shades like Pantone’s Minion Yellow are the perfect accent color for any space. We are seeing it brighten up rooms by way of accessories like pillows, blankets, and window treatments. Limiting incorporation of these bold tones to accessories also gives homeowners the flexibility to switch things up down the road.
Entertainment is Evolving
In Georgia— where we can be outside year-round—we’re seeing many clients extend their living spaces to the exterior of their homes. Defined outdoor entertainment spaces with outdoor fireplaces and covered porches are in high demand.
Inside, buyers are increasingly stepping away from traditional bar spaces with cabinets in the corner of their rec room. Instead, buyers are interested in modern, unique features like open shelving and stone backsplashes that are designed for entertaining.
Brick Kitchen Backsplashes
Brick backsplashes have taken off like wildfire. We started installing it in our model homes and buyers instantly took a liking to it. The brick adds a sense of ambiance and can elongate the space by drawing your gaze up when installed from counter to ceiling.
Bold and Painted Built-in Shelving From Floor to Ceiling
Clients are moving away from painting their built-ins to match their trim, and instead opting for bold colors. Bright, painted built-ins also help draw focus to collectibles and objects on display.
Antique Brass Hardware
Antique brass hardware has been trending for some time, but we are starting to see it make its way into furniture, faucets and lighting. The antique texture of brass adds a sense of softness and bring a subtle warmth to any room.
Homebuyers with four-legged friends love having dog wash stations in their homes because it gives them a distinct space where they can conveniently care for their pets, separate from their personal showers and baths. We’re seeing many buyers incorporate these spaces for their pets in laundry rooms and mudrooms where they can keep all of their pet essentials in one place.
Please click on our name below to view construction in progress on the Country Inn & Suites we are building in Kalispell, MT
As consumer demand for sustainable building products continues to grow, the Metal Roofing Alliance reports another market share gain for metal in the residential retrofit market. New independent research conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics on behalf of the MRA shows the total market share of metal roofing gained another 3 points in 2016, growing from 11% market share in 2015 to 14% in 2016. Between 2015 and 2016, the total demand for metal roofing increased from 17.7 million squares to 19.4 million squares. Metal roofing is second only to asphalt shingle roofing in the remodeling market.
In 1998, when the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) began educating homeowners with a national consumer awareness campaign, metal roofing market share was just 3.7% of the consumer re-roofing market. “MRA members’ commitment to growing the industry through ongoing focus and effort has clearly made a big difference. This latest surge brings us closer to hitting our goal of having metal comprise 20% of the residential roofing market by 2020,” says MRA President Dick Bus. “We believe our success in growing the residential market can be attributed to our consistent effort to educate both homeowners and roofing contractors about the many benefits of residential metal roofing.”
Dodge Data & Analytics performed an analysis designed to estimate the size of the U.S. new construction and repair and remodeling markets for metal roofing. The study reviewed a variety of metal roofing products, including: vertical ribbed panels, shingles, shakes, copper, tiles and slate panels. The study examined metal roofing activity across nine U.S. Census regions. Key findings include:
• The metal roofing market share in the remodeling market has increased in six of the nine Census regions, with gains ranging between 2 to 9 points. The Pacific, East South Central and Mid Atlantic regions show advances in metal roofing greater than 6 points.
• The region with the largest market share is the East South Central region (Alabama, Kentucky
, Mississippi, Tennessee) with 30% of homes being re-roofed with metal.• In the New England region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and New England) data reveals that metal roofing increased 3 points to 12% market share.
• Asphalt had a 64% market share in 2015 and it is now just 59% in 2016.
• Twenty-nine percent of homeowners reported that they selected metal roofing because it was attractive, while 20% reported metal roofing to be a good investment that added value to their homes. Longevity (18%) and strength and protection (17%) were also attributes cited for choosing metal.
• Standing seam metal roofing is most popular in the East South Central (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee) at 96%. In the Pacific region (California, Oregon, Washington), and the Mountain region (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming), shingle shake tile is the most popular metal roof choice for homes.
Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between August 2016 and August 2017, while 30 states added construction jobs between July and August amid strong demand for construction work in most parts of the country, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America based on Labor Department data. Association officials said that more states likely would have added new construction jobs except for the fact 70 percent of firms report having a hard time finding craft workers to hire.
“Firms in most states are expanding their headcount to keep pace with growing demand for many types of construction projects,” says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the association. “While it is too early to tell what impacts Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will have on the sector’s workforce, there are not a lot of unemployed, experienced workers available to travel to Texas or Florida to help communities rebuild.”
California added the most construction jobs (47,400 jobs, 6.1 percent) during the past year. Other states adding a high number of new construction jobs for the past 12 months include Florida (35,000 jobs, 7.3 percent); Louisiana (15,300 jobs, 11.1 percent); Texas (15,200 jobs, 2.2 percent) and Nevada (11,600 jobs, 15.3 percent). Rhode Island (17.6 percent, 3,200 jobs) added the highest percentage of new construction jobs during the past year, followed by Nevada; New Hampshire(12.2 percent, 3,100 jobs) and Oregon (11.7 percent, 10,600 jobs).
Sixteen states shed construction jobs between August 2016 and August 2017. Iowa lost both the highest number and highest percentage of construction jobs (-5,900 jobs, -7.3 percent), followed by Illinois (-3,000 jobs, -1.4 percent) and Missouri(-2,100 jobs, -1.7 percent). Other states losing a high percentage of construction jobs during the past year include South Dakota (-2.9 percent, -700 jobs); Nebraska (-2.9 percent, -1,500 jobs) and Wyoming (-2.4 percent, -500 jobs).
Among the 30 states that added construction jobs between July and August, Maryland added more than any other state (3,200 jobs, 1.9 percent), followed by Florida (3,100 jobs, 0.6 percent); Texas (2,600 jobs, 0.4 percent) and Kentucky (2,400 jobs, 3.0 percent). Rhode Island (5.4 percent, 1,100 jobs) added the highest percentage of construction jobs for the month, followed by Kentucky; New Mexico (2.9 percent, 1,300 jobs); and Nevada (2.0 percent, 1,700 jobs).
Seventeen states and D.C. lost construction jobs between July and August while construction employment was unchanged in three states. South Carolina (-2,700 jobs, -2.8 percent) lost the most construction jobs for the month. Other states losing a high number of construction jobs include New York (-2,600 jobs, -0.7 percent); Arkansas (-1,500 jobs, -2.9 percent) and Missouri (-1,200 jobs, -1.0 percent). Arkansas lost the highest percentage of construction jobs during the past month, followed by South Carolina; North Dakota (-2.1 percent, -700 jobs) and Nebraska (-1.8 percent, -900 jobs).
The cost of housing’s labor shortages is going up.
There’s no reason not to expect the price tag to do anything other than get higher.
Builders normally rank land–access to building lots–as their biggest source of anxiety, and why not? It’s scarce. It’s expensive. It comes with rules that suck time and talent to deal with.
They’re used to those challenges and that source of worry, as well as the longstanding issue of securing capital to buy and develop those lots, and to finance construction. What they’re not used to in the past couple of business and housing cycles anyway, is this post Great Recession challenge: a lack of human resources to do jobs that require skills for a predictable rate that maps to a profitable margin on a finished project.
An inability to mobilize a sufficiently large force of such skilled workers wasn’t high on many peoples’ list of wicked problems coming out of the downturn. That kind of scarcity was not a big red flag until production started to pick up in 2013 or so, and plants started rebooting, and materials started trucking to sites, and the purchasing directors at some of the bigger companies realized that the armies of workers who’d been on all the sites less than a decade earlier were not going to come back with the flip of a switch.
Epic disruption in an already attenuated national skilled workforce occurs as apocalyptic storms bring large mapped areas and the millions of lives within those regions to their knees. The question for housing’s business leaders is whether this latest series of convulsive climate-related events simply worsens an already chronic challenge around skilled labor, or becomes a lever for opportunity to change.
The cost of not being able to secure skilled tradespeople committed to quality work for a price that will pencil plays out in countless ways. It’s projects that come in over budget. It’s work that needs to be redone, because it’s not done skillfully in the first place. It’s lost sales, because buyers can’t wait for a delivery that’s either unreasonably distant or unpredictable. It’s jobs that don’t get started, and ones that don’t get finished when they’re supposed to.
It’s a known issue, and every strategic leader at every company knows that it’s one that’s not going to take care of itself. The challenge having to source sufficient skilled human labor capacity to deliver goods to a marketplace at prices that marketplace will embrace is ultimately a leadership challenge.
Merely talking about it, or waiting for it to resolve itself are not options. The two options for leaders we’ve spoken to involve concerted, holistic, and transformational change in how to both replenish the aging and shrinking workforce, and how to offset some of the human labor with technology-enabled, off-site equipment.
Neither option is right in the wheelhouse of instincts and proficiencies among our business community’s leaders. It’s time they recognize that they need to declare an all-out strategic war on the labor shortage and rally to bring a new stream of human and technological resources to bear on their plans to deliver new homes and communities to the markets they serve.
The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee on Wednesday wrapped up its monthly meeting by holding interest rates steady and vowing to keep on eye on Hurricane-driven inflation.
In it’s statement, the committee said, “Higher prices for gasoline and some other items in the aftermath of the hurricanes will likely boost inflation temporarily; apart from that effect, inflation on a 12-month basis is expected to remain somewhat below 2% in the near term but to stabilize around the Committee’s 2% objective over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, but the Committee is monitoring inflation developments closely.”
It continued, “The Committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant gradual increases in the federal funds rate; the federal funds rate is likely to remain, for some time, below levels that are expected to prevail in the longer run. However, the actual path of the federal funds rate will depend on the economic outlook as informed by incoming data.”
The FOMC said it would begin selling off its stash of assets, called unwinding by some and “balance sheet normalization” by the Fed, in October.
In reaction to the statement, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “As the Federal Reserve indicated today, the huge purchases of mortgage-backed securities and U.S. government bonds could not have continued and will unwind beginning next month. Looking within the statement, the pace of selling looks to be in slow motion. That means that mortgage rates would rise up only modestly over time. Given the pace of unwinding asset purchases with the fewer rounds of anticipated short-term rate hikes over the next two years, it’s expected that mortgage rates should still remain at historically attractive levels. The 30-year fixed rate may rise to slightly above 4% by the end of this year, and may only reach 4.7% by the end of 2018.”