The spring/summer construction season in Minnesota is shaping up to be a busy time.
Thanks to low unemployment, regional housing demand and residents’ desire to get projects financed before interest rates rise, analysts expect warmer weather to bring a steady stream of construction to both residential and commercial markets throughout the North Star state.
Part of that can be attributed to a nationwide trend in consumers remodeling their homes. Across the U.S., the market for home renovation products has expanded 50 percent since 2010. This year, renovation product sales are expected to rise another 5.5 percent to surpass $420 billion.
So what are some other building trends Minnesotans can expect this spring?
Green and sustainable design. The trend toward resource-efficient and environmentally responsible construction projects is expected to ramp up even more this year. Examples include designs that reuse water from plumbing systems, boost natural light to reduce electric light or use recycled or repurposed building materials.
Solar energy. Last year the U.S. installed enough solar PV capacity to power 12.3 million American homes. That capacity is expected to double by 2024. Last year Minnesota ranked eighth in the nation for use of solar energy, with 152,340 homes powered through that source.
Better air sealing, insulation and energy efficiency. Evolving industry codes are calling for more airtight buildings that conserve energy and control heating and air conditioning costs.
Big doorways to outside living areas. Minnesotans are big outdoors enthusiasts year-round, so it's not surprising we're a big part of the nationwide trend toward blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Extreme weather-resistant materials. In light of the disruptive weather and natural disasters across the world in recent years, manufacturers are creating materials such as 3D cementitious sandwich panels that can remain safe while standing up to severe stress — including the twisters to which Minnesota is prone.
Minimalist Scandinavian/Nordic design. The trend toward bright, airy spaces, functionality and simple but sophisticated style is popular nationwide, but unsurprisingly it’s especially prevalent in Minnesota due to its largely Scandinavian heritage. Color palettes feature whites, grays, blacks and browns, sometimes with accents of pink or green.
Fire features. Now featured both inside and out, they’re made of a variety of materials and configured into different shapes and sizes. They’re a great fit with Minnesota’s long cold season.
Sunrooms and three- or four-season porches. Vaulted ceilings, skylights and large windows overlooking views of nature are especially prized by Minnesotans, many of whom fill these rooms with greenery that can be enjoyed through the winter months.
More elaborate home offices. Since Minnesota is a national leader in the telecommuting trend, it’s only natural Minnesotans are seeking more comfort, convenience and privacy in their home workspaces.
In-law suites. These handy spaces attached to or on the same property as a primary home allow aging family members to live close to loved ones while maintaining privacy and independence. The spaces often feature a bedroom, bath, sitting room and/or small kitchen. The building trend is attributed largely to aging baby boomers; one Wall Street Journal study found 32 percent of U.S. homeowners plan to have an aging relative living with them in the near future.
Wishing to incorporate these building trends into your own home, but unsure where to start? Call the specialists at Titus Contracting for insight into how to make your dreams reality.
Written by Scott Rajavuori on April 8, 2019