The Next Big Thing

My clients ask me all the time, “Steve, what is the next big thing in remodeling so I can be prepared when I sell my home 10 years from now?”

Trying to determine the next big thing is hard because our technology is moving so quickly.  Who knew that the hot intercom systems of the 60s-80s would fall victim to cell phones? Or that office spaces that were so prevalent in the 90s would fall out of fashion due to laptops and the mobile office?

Below are some interesting technological advances to keep in mind that could affect how we live in our homes in the years to come:

Kitchen Storage –There will always be a need for kitchen storage, but people have become more efficient with their needs. The downsizing craze is making people more aware of the things they choose to hang onto. Instead of having an entire set of pans, they are realizing that two or three pans will do. Small appliances that only do one or two things are being replaced by multi-taskers. I expect that kitchen storage needs will be reduced in the coming years. Closet storage may be headed in this direction also, but not as much as kitchen storage, in my opinion.

Green Technologies – Although products such as Nest are becoming popular now, some green technologies are going to be slower to catch on due to the higher initial cost. However, I expect we will see more people gravitating towards these. If you are planning a remodel, that might be a good time to get on the bandwagon:

Solar – Yes, even in our rainy state, solar is catching on big-time. Because we have sunny summers and longer daylight hours, that easily compensates for cloudy and rainy days we have during the winter when there is fewer hours of daylight anyway. So if you are changing your roofline or just replacing your roof, that might be the time to look at solar.

Garage Electric Car Charging – Electric cars are taking hold in our vehicle fleets. Make sure they have an easy spot to charge in the garage.

Gray Water and Rainwater Collection – Although we live in an area where most people aren’t worried about water, drought will undoubtedly be something we need to be concerned about. Systems that either harvest rainwater from the roof and contain it for later use in a cistern or graywater systems that “reuse” water from sinks and the shower by funneling into gardens may soon be commonplace.

Glass – It wasn’t that long ago when energy loss through a window was equivalent to having a hole half the size of the window in the wall. Not so anymore! As energy efficiency with glass and window design improved,  window size grew! Now we are seeing people replace whole walls with windows, breaking down the barrier between inside and out.

If you are planning a remodel with an eye to sell in a year or two, give me a call! I would be happy to give you some advice on the amenities that buyers are craving! (206) 226-5300 or email:

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