Today’s home design trends are becoming more fragmented and variable than ever. Options have exploded, and buyer expectations are high. Younger buyers are demanding a look that is unique from their neighbors (or unique to them) – even in suburbia – while older Americans want homes that are accessible, but also modern, open and spacious. Across the board, residential architects and production builders are designing new homes that reflect these new trends, plus many others.
According to an article in the Washington Post, home designs once relegated to specific regions – for instance, open-plan courtyards flowing into a great room, seen frequently on the West Coast – are being featured in new homes around the country. Homeowners desire distinctive living spaces, and there is less interest in “cookie-cutter” suburban housing that we saw most notably in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, there has been a distinct decrease in subdivision-style living and homes that closely resemble one another.
An article from AOL Finance explains that this shift was in part prompted by the economic downturn and the difficulty to upgrade older homes, in addition to some of the modern-day negative connotations surrounding suburban living. As a result, residential architects and production builders are guided to produce less “outdated” homes, utilizing a more “thoughtful approach to design from a community aspect” to create “a destination, someplace that engages…[potential] buyers,” as the article states.
This increase in distinct housing designs and options makes it even more difficult for production builders to maintain the consistent quality of in-home products and features, complete projects in a timely fashion, and ensure that these elements match the home’s design while proving to be durable, reliable and functional for the residents.
It is essential, then, that products remain true to their specifications. If, for example, shelving for a master bedroom closet doesn’t complement the home and is difficult to install, differing wildly from its spec, production builders’ design, schedule, and budget may suffer. Residential architects may similarly feel the strain of inaccurate product specs, even working in a more fluid design environment: a recent AIA survey titled The Architect’s Journey to Specification found that architects want clear, concise product websites and more transparency from product manufacturers to feel confident in the accuracy of product specifications.
ClosetMaid has developed a product that makes it easier than ever to specify a storage system for builders. ExpressShelf™ is a pre-finished shelf and rod system that provides a fast and affordable alternative to traditional, built-in place painted-MDF plank and pole closet systems. The system installs after paint at an approximate rate of 1 minute per foot, and its patent-pending hardware allow for consistent fit, design and space optimization/utilization in any room of the house. Builders rely on ExpressShelf because of its ease of design and installation, on-site efficiency, and consistent fit and design, regardless of home style. Additionally, homeowners prefer ExpressShelf because of its universal aesthetic and flexibility with future add-ons.
According to Packaged Facts, “two thirds of American adults…somewhat or strongly agree with the statement ‘I could use more home organization products…in my home.’” ClosetMaid’s ExpressShelf system can be customized to reflect different home designs, as it is available in a basic laminate or melamine option and utilizes ClosetMaid's MasterSuite™ top shelves and closet rods to provide additional colors or upgrade options for any style home or storage project.
The ExpressShelf system offers a solution for both builders and residential architects who require design and build consistency and products that are true-to-spec, yet also versatile enough to meet the needs of the modern homebuyer and the latest home trends.
This article originally appeared on Professional Builder