Extending our existing living space became a huge priority for Americans during the pandemic, and will continue to drive renovation budgets into 2021. Screened porches are one the most versatile and functional home additions, bringing the benefits of outdoor living with the comfort of the indoors.
Screened porches also offer protection from the elements, including rain, sun and insects — making it perfect for outdoor dining, social gatherings or just extra room for families to spread out. For contractors, expect a quick build: about one month from breaking ground to completion. And homeowners, expect a high return on investment.
A screened porch has an average return on investment of 84%.
Pergolas are another simple and beautiful way to maximize outdoor space for entertaining, relaxing or just staying cool in the shade — eliminating the discomfort of direct sunlight while letting plenty of natural light peek through.
Pergolas also maintain free airflow, which is especially useful if you’re covering a grill station or outdoor kitchen setup where it’s important to have good ventilation.
Inherent in their latticed designs, pergolas can add elegant visual interest to any home. Add additional decor like plants and climbing vines to create a natural oasis, or dress it up with chandeliers, ceiling fans, small speakers or a string of lights for a magical night time atmosphere.
Transitioning to the great indoors, another popular home remodeling trend pays tribute to our home’s most forgotten wall — the ceiling.
Wood ceilings are an easy architectural upgrade that add visual interest, warmth, and a rich, elevated design to any room and even hallways. Experiment with wood stains that contrast with the floor below; consider dark coffered wood ceilings paired with paneled walls to convey dramatic elegance to a formal dining room; or perhaps add a wood beam to a high ceiling for additional visual interest.
Wood ceiling materials are generally easy to find: you can use tongue and groove or individual boards. Better yet, these projects have a short labor time and an average-sized room should take just a few days to complete.
Spending more time inside also has increased homeowner creativity, prompting renovation projects that will make their home more welcoming and unique. Wood feature walls are a great way to differentiate your client’s home in creative and fully customizable ways.
These projects are a low investment in both time and cost, and a little goes a long way to add differentiation and visual interest. Build a memorable focal point with patterned designs, or create the illusion of a bigger room with lighter wood hues.
Also consider combining with paint and wallpaper to match your client’s personality and style.