Today’s construction process is a team effort. Gone are the days when architects passed off their project plans to the construction team and hoped for the best. Now, more than ever, collaboration throughout the project is key to its success. Of course, collaboration is not always easy, especially between industries that have been somewhat at odds in the past. As an architect, I know that I sometimes have a very different vision of a project’s end result than the construction team may have. Our project goals may not align, and completing a project may be challenging if we have competing interests along the way. However, as our industries evolve, we can no longer afford to be at odds. The troubled economy of the past few years has left our clients with tighter budgets and stronger demands. To provide our clients with the best results, architects and construction managers must each learn to use our unique skill sets to our advantage, delivering results that meet and exceed expectations. 

Renovation trends are constantly evolving, making it difficult for remodelers, contractors, builders and other professionals to keep up with the latest and greatest in today’s market.  Unsure clients whose personal tastes and preferences get in the way of which renovations will actually increase value can make the job even tougher. 

But there doesn’t have to be a compromise between adding value and also matching a homeowner’s personal style. Professionals can assist clients during the renovation process by suggesting some of the following home renovation trends that add style and boost home value.  

Less is more in the kitchen 

The adage “youth is wasted on the young” doesn’t apply to today’s single, female Baby Boomers. In fact, 76 percent of single women over 55 feel younger than their age, according to new data from Del Webb, a national brand of PulteGroup Inc., one of the nation’s largest homebuilders.

The first data in a series of new results from the recently conducted Del Webb Baby Boomer Survey of single, Baby Boomer women, finds that 74 percent of respondents are as happy, or happier, than they were at age 35 and nearly half (45 percent) believe their best years are yet to come.  

Brookfield Residential Properties says it is distinguished in the marketplace by its innovation, integrity and passion, noting that “when you make a difference in peoples’ homes, you make a difference in their lives.” The company describes this as “the Brookfield difference,” and it is definitely being noticed, most recently when Brookfield Residential Properties’ greater Los Angeles and San Diego divisions won four Gold Awards at The International Builder’s Show. Recognized for excellence in design, planning, merchandising and marketing by the National Association of Homebuilders, Brookfield Residential competed with the top homebuilders from across the United States. The Gold Awards were announced January 20, 2015 at The Nationals in Las Vegas.

Designers take pride in their resources and ability to gather the best products and materials for their clients, and a new site is making all that easier. Reissued, which launched as a social marketplace app in 2014, launched an online shopping and editorial platform at in late February. Within the growing resale industry, Reissued offers consumers an online destination to shop the world’s most unique curators of vintage and one-of-a-kind fashion, accessories and home goods. The new website will bring weekly curated sales, featured sellers, seasonal collections and numerous editorial stories to life via its e-commerce platform and article library.

Maybe we’re not living exactly like the Jetsons, but we’re not stuck in the Flintstones’ era, either. A report released earlier this year from Juniper Research forecasts that revenues generated from smart home services are set to reach a global market value of $71 billion by 2018. That’s $33 billion more than 2013. As the lives of homeowners become busier, especially in the United States, many are looking for their own version of the Jetson’s Rosie the Robot to make life a little easier. 

“In general, Americans feel positively toward products that will make their homes safer, more energy efficient and easier to manage,” says Kevin Meagher, vice president and general manager of Lowe’s smart home division. “People want DIY solutions that are simple and affordable.”

Many industries are eyeing mobile apps for their potential to streamline processes and save costs, and the construction industry is no different. In fact, a construction app currently is listed among the top 10 grossing apps in the Apple App Store.

The best apps are those that can take an existing workflow and improve it. Mobile app uses in the construction industry can be grouped into the following categories: 

Over the past several years, the costs of new construction and the environmental movement have been key drivers in the redevelopment of downtown Main Streets and their equivalents all across America. These projects can be attractive and ultimately beneficial to develop and complete.

Acquisition of the property and building can be as low as free but, depending on the market, it is not uncommon to see costs for environmentally challenged buildings to be as low as $10 per square foot. Even, if remediation and demolition costs are twice that, as they sometimes have been, getting “shell space” at or below $25 per square is extremely compelling. Add the potential for EPA brownfield loans, grants and historic tax credits and the math becomes even more exciting. 

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