The largest housing industry show occurs at the beginning of each year, and this year it was held in Orlando, Florida. Design & Construction week combines several shows to introduce housing industry trends to the world's builders, remodelers, architects and designers and many others involved in this industry. More than 85,000 home professionals were in Orlando this week to enjoy these shows.
- International Builder Show (IBS) – is the flagship show for home builders, remodelers and specialty contractors. There were more than 1,500 manufacturers and suppliers showing products ranging from heating and cooling to home automation.
- Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) – brings the latest products to kitchen and bath designers, with more than 600 brands displaying their products, designers teaching and lots of networking. Interior design professionals have many other industry design shows depending on their focus.
You probably need a team of three or more people to visit 1,500 exhibitors in three days. So here's what I learned in my three days at the show. Hope there are a few key messages or products that make you sit up and take notice of the changes happening in the housing industries.
2018 Housing Industry Trends
It takes a while to review everything seen at the show before you begin to recognize the industry trends. Here's a first pass at what I learned this week and please, share your ideas below.
- More home related products as the housing industry rebounds and goes global. Joining the ranks of high-end European brands are low cost Chinese products, driving down prices. In face production home builders have been buying cabinets and other products from China for many years.
- More product customization as brands work to differentiate their products from competitors. Thermatru's door (below) illustrates this with horizontal rails on the outside of the door and a vertical mullion inside.
- Building products and materials that can speed up construction, as the shows primary visitors are builders and remodelers. Examples are custom shower pans (what goes under the tile) and bathroom wall materials that require fewer layers for waterproofing.
So here are the new and innovative products found at this years Design & Construction week. There are fun products and those that can help you maintain your home with less effort.
Water Monitoring & Automatic Shutoff
You're probably familiar with digital locks and lights you can turn on from your phone but there's more to home automation. This water sensing product is something every house that's vulnerable to freezing pipes needs. Let me share a phone call that taught me why this is so important.
A homeowner called my handyman business when she heard water pouring out inside her basement walls right after she turned on her outside faucet. It was hard to calm her down enough to find the water shutoff valve. I then explained how to shutoff the leaking water. These leaks happens when homeowners forget to drain their outside faucets and remove the garden hoses. If it's not done right, the water behind the valve freezes and the pipe cracks. To avoid this problem you can install a freezeproof faucet (called a hose bibb) or have your plumber add a shutoff valve inside your home.
The magic of this water sensing system is 1. when a leak is detected, the main water supply gets shutoff automatically and 2. you can place multiple water sensors (the small, round white circle below) around your home – under sinks, washing machine, dishwasher and more.
Want to Get Your Electronic Wiring Under Control?
That's where a company like Mockett comes in handy. They've got creative solutions to hide outlets under your kitchen countertop, hidden out of view except when you're using them. And for the wires you can't hide, they've got cool organizing gadgets to keep them under control … yeah!
Housing Industry Trends in Exterior Doors
Exterior doors influence a home's curb appeal and say a lot about the homeowner's personality. Collecting door photos on Pinterest is something I do for fun. And recently I found this fun exercise, They Say The Door You Pick Can Tell Your Future. Mine Was So Accurate, It’s Scary! It definitely shows how each door has a different personality so have fun picking your door.
So maybe it's time to rethink what you want your front door to look like? You'll find lots of apps to help you design a custom door to fit your home and personality. Here's an example of this which I found at the show. Therma-Tru (installed more than 100 of their doors when I owned my handyman business) now lets you pick your style. You can pick your glass and the same or different styles for each side of the door as shown here. The brown exterior has horizontal rails (you pick how many and where they go) on the outside and a vertical mullion inside … and you could have two if you wanted.
But wait, there's a new exterior door idea from Clopay. There's a little bit of marketing savvy here as Clopay's lead product is garage doors and yes, it makes sense that your front door and garage door should have similar styles. So that was the focus at their booth as you can see in the photo below. Lots of horizontal opaque glass to let sunlight in while maintaining privacy.
New Fireplace Designs are Always Found at the International Builder Show
As the day grows long and the feet need a rest, here's a welcome fireplace to enjoy while sitting for a few minutes. It seems like the perfect solution for homeowners who want a fireplace but don't have enough wall space. It seems perfect for a cozy corner in almost any room from the traditional living room, to a home office or the master bedroom. It belongs where you like to relax.
There are lots more photos to share from IBS and KBIS 2018.
Let me know if there's something special you're looking for.