From January 9th – 11th, home builders and vendors from across the world met in Orlando, Florida for the annual Design & Construction Week which includes trade shows, educational classes, demonstrations, and networking opportunities from members of the National Association of Home Builders, Kitchen & Bath Association, and other industry partners. The 2018 show featured 85,000 attendees, over 1,500 vendors spanning 583,000 square feet and 150+ education sessions.
If this year’s Builders Show is any indication of the housing market for 2018, get excited! The excitement and buzz of everyone at this year’s show was palpable. There were dozens of new products unveiled and everyone attending the show seemed prepped for a busy year as the national housing market continues to bounce back. Fresh off our yearly trip, here are a few key takeaways we see impacting the Wichita area:
MORE TECH, MORE CONNECTED
This likely comes as no surprise, but smart home devices are poised to be a continuing trend for 2018. Not only does everything seem to have internet connectivity to connect to an app on your phone, but more often these smart devices are increasingly able to connect to each other. There is too much to cover here, but it was great to see that most smart home products were compatible with multiple providers – in short meaning you can mix and match your devices to work with Google Home, the Apple Home Kit, or Amazon’s Alexa, for example. This is great for homeowners because it gives them the flexibility to use multiple vendors and not be stuck with a single format.
From a design standpoint there is still a growing trend, especially in our area, for the country cottage look. White on black exterior, clean lines with a more modern farmhouse style. We saw a bit of this creeping into the tail end of last year, but it looks to be a major trend for 2018. Look to see examples of it across the Spring Parade of Homes in April.
TIGHTER, MORE EFFICIENT HOMES
Another strong design trend that affects multiple products, and even construction practices, is the fact that energy efficiency and tighter enclosures are continuing to be big ticket items for a new home. While there was continued development on more efficient lighting, plumbing, and appliances, perhaps one of the newer trends for efficient homes considered how tight the home was wrapped – basically how much heat loss is caused by gaps around windows, wall penetrations, etc. that could affect the overall efficiency of a home. This was great to see because even the most efficient products put inside a home do not make up for an inefficiently built home.