Home Renovation Tips: What’s Trending and How to Save

Home renovation has become a very popular pastime for homeowners. The popularity of shows on HGTV has exploded over the last few years, inspiring people to tackle do-it-yourself projects and use terms such as “rustic” and “farmhouse style” to describe their new looks. Updating your home can give it a totally different feel and is a great way to personalize your space and make it your own. Putting on an addition, knocking down a wall or changing the color of the paint can drastically improve a home’s look, even making it feel like you’re in a new house, without actually having to go through the hassle of packing up and moving. It can also help increase your home’s value.

What’s Trending in Homes Today

Throughout the years, new trends in home renovation and design change and evolve to best suit modern day needs and conveniences. Over the past few years, homes have been getting a more streamlined and sleek appearance, and overall looks are becoming minimalistic instead of ornate. Angela Poposki, project manager and design specialist for Adams MultiCare, said a big trend she sees is what she likes to refer to as a vintage vibe mixed with a modern 2019. “Natural stones, natural wood stains and shiplap are becoming popular,” she said.

The use of bold color has taken a step back while lighter neutrals have taken over, which gives a room a much more open feel and look. While whites and grays have been extremely popular recently, owner of Renovate Interior Design, Trina Ashour, said she sees us on the way out of that trend, with grays combined with more natural tones, such as creams, making a comeback. Decorative tiles are a popular choice for bathrooms and laundry rooms, and quartz and quartzite countertops are taking over the popularity of granite. Although granite has been a popular choice for a while, it’s porous and requires regular maintenance such as sealing. While quartz can be slightly more expensive, it requires less maintenance and offers more color options. Poposki said that she’s seeing a lot of clients install pantry walls that blend in with the cabinets, as well as open shelving to display their dishware.

Vinyl planks and wood-look tile are both popular choices when it comes to changing out flooring, since they’re both very durable and easy to maintain. “Although some people may prefer the look of natural wood, it doesn’t hold up as well in the Florida climate since it expands and contracts and when storms come through and the power is out, the high humidity can make the wood floors cup and warp,” said Mike Gorecki, owner of Summit Bay Construction.

Herringbone pattern has been a popular choice for flooring patterns, adding a bit of European history and charm. Poposki said she’s seeing a lot of her clients install them in their bathrooms and entryways. Open floor plans have also become a more popular option over split floor plans. Formal dining rooms are becoming a thing of the past, as people are removing walls in their home to create multi-use rooms and larger living spaces.

For those who want to make their homes more environmentally conscious, Gorecki recommends installing windows with a low-E rating, which can help eliminate heat coming through the glass and into the home. There are also several wood flooring options and other finished products made from recycled materials that you can look for when comparing product brands.

How to Design on a Dime

A big factor when it comes to renovating a home is the cost. Home improvement can come with a hefty price tag that can fluctuate if things don’t go as planned, or if additional work needs to be done. Since labor is what tends to cost more, the more labor-intensive a project is, the more the price will go up. However, that doesn’t mean that if you’re tight on funds, you can’t create an updated look for your home. The number one cost-effective way to give your space a fresh look is paint. “It’s such an easy way to change the feel of a home and is such a transformative feature,” said Ashour.

Switching out your furniture is also a great way to make your home look new without having to do much work. Ashour recommends looking online at websites such as Wayfair, where furniture is much more affordable than what you’d find in a store. If you have hardwood floors, she recommends refinishing them over installing new ones. If you do want to replace your floors, you’ll save a good amount of money if you’re able to install them yourself. Painting and resurfacing cabinets can cost a fraction of what new cabinets would cost, even less if you take on the project yourself. Something else that may cost more now, but could save you money in the long run is to install hurricane-proof windows, doors and bracing for garage doors. In the event of a hurricane, it’ll save you from having to repair extra damage and once they’ve been installed, you should be eligible for a lower homeowner’s insurance premium.

What You See Is Not Always What You Get

Although it’s fun and inspiring to watch new ideas come to life on TV, there’s a lot more that goes into renovating a home than what you see on a 30-minute show. You may think that couple who just renovated their home on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” now has a picturesque new space that was done with only a $10,000 budget. The truth is, they most likely spent a lot more. What are normally shown on TV are the prices of fixtures and furniture. What they don’t disclose is how much they’ll have to pay the plumber, the electrician and the subcontractors. Some of the designs are also not as functional in real life as they appear on TV. “What’s shown is usually for aesthetics,” said Ashour.

Shows on TV have a tendency to make renovations—particularly DIY projects—seem easier than they actually are and can also portray unrealistic timelines. Although a home may visibly look like it’s been completed, most of the time it’s just for show, and it could be days—if not weeks—before it’s actually move-in ready. Because of this, many people who are looking to renovate their home or add on additions may be blindsided by how long the process could actually take and what costs are really involved. Because of this, Ashour recommends using what you see on TV as inspiration only. “Timelines stress people out if they have an