(ARA) – America’s housing inventory is aging. According to to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the average age of houses in the United States is 32 years and rising. So it should come as no surprise that the remodeling industry is booming.
Home owners spend more than $230 billion each year on remodeling, and when they shop for new fixtures, they want to add lasting style that unifies the look of their homes, not trendy products that will soon appear dated. This has prompted a return to classic architectural styles like Victorian, Craftsman, Old World and Colonial.
“Homeowners have their eyes fixed on future returns, so when it comes to selecting products for a renovation, they are behaving like smart investors,” says Steve Brant, product marketing manager for JELD-WEN windows. “Homeowners demand well-established architectural styles and high-performance materials that will look great, save money and last for years to come.”
Before undertaking a renovation project, experts advise homeowners to consider these factors:
* What are the current architectural features of the home?
* What materials need to match, such as wood species on cabinetry, millwork, windows and doors?
* What weather conditions or building code requirements must be met?
* What is the budget?
* What is the expected return on investment?
High-Tech Materials with Traditional Style
Today’s building products benefit from high-tech improvements to time-honored materials. Wood is a must for the classic architectural styles that are popular today, but many homeowners have avoided wood due to concerns about rot, termites and high maintenance requirements.
Building product manufacturers have answered with a new generation of treated wood that avoids these risks. An example is JELD-WEN AuraLast wood, which is guaranteed to resist decay and termites for 20 years. At this level of protection, homeowners don’t have to sacrifice the warmth that solid wood windows and doors bring to traditional architectural styles that favor rich, natural tones.
For homeowners who want the look of wood but live in regions with extreme climate conditions, fiberglass entry doors have mastered the look of genuine wood. For example, IWP Aurora Custom Fiberglass exterior doors are cast from solid wood doors and match the look and feel of wood so closely that even experts cannot tell the difference.
Keys to Classic Architectural Styles
For homeowners who want to unite the classic looks of their homes, here are a few tips on what architectural details to highlight:
* Decorative glass is the key to carrying off Victorian architectural style at the front entryway. Beveled and textured glass brightens the entry and reinforces the strong geometric shapes of a Victorian home’s façade. The same patterning can be carried throughout the home with custom divided lites for windows. Depending on window type, exterior colors and grille patterns, homeowners can find windows in wood, clad wood or vinyl to match this architectural style.
* The keys to the Craftsman look are symmetry and simple details that emphasize balanced proportions. While glass inserts are still important in Craftsman doors, the fanciful radius and oval shapes of the Victorian style are replaced with symmetrical, squared-off forms and designs abstracted from nature. Wood windows in pine, made of reliable treated wood like AuraLast, complement this architectural style, which favors rich, natural wood finishes.
* To carry off an Old World look at the front entry, the key is decorative hardware. An otherwise ordinary paneled door takes on a whole new dimension of style with the addition of a speakeasy grille or decorative straps. Choosing options such as antiquing, hand-hewn finishes and hammered-look hardware can add to the Old World appearance. Shaped casement windows with arched or peaked tops and Gothic divided lite patterns can help carry this design theme throughout the home.
* A hallmark of the Colonial architectural style is a grand front entrance – often a projecting central pavilion or a portico with columns. For a Colonial entrance, a broad, paneled door with classical proportions and symmetrical sidelights fits the bill. Wood and fiberglass doors offer a variety of custom options within the established set of Colonial-style doors. Double-hung windows in white or ivory with symmetrical divided lite patterns are the perfect match for Colonial style.
Courtesy of ARA Content