Homeowners all across the country are taking home renovations seriously, perhaps inspired by the plethora of home remodeling shows, real estate reality TV featuring great amenities (think Million Dollar Listing), and on-line virtual room software programs that bring ideas to life. Everything from Planner 5D to the Home Renovator and HomeByMe put on-line tools into the hands of homeowners to plan, design, draw and view a space before taking the plunge into home renovation. In fact, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, remodeling is hot among homeowners, with spending expected to reach $325 billion by early 2017.
Property developers are also leading the way in creating innovative spaces, particularly in the luxury market. One Manhattan developer recently featured in the New York Times, for example, created a kid’s playroom that brought the outdoors inside with a two-story space outfitted with a tree house, walls papered with forest scenes and an entrance leading to a balcony. Another New York condo developer leveraged formerly empty “back-of-house” space to create a cool storage area for bikes that also comes equipped with lockers – all geared toward a growing demographic group that prefers cycling around the city.
Other creative renovation trends we’re seeing in both residential and commercial properties (condos, co-ops, rental apartments) include spacious kitchens with open floor plans to create a larger living area, bathrooms as living spaces, and indoor-outdoor connectivity elements.
With all of this creative renovation and remodeling taking place it’s important that property owners, contractors and others secure a builder’s risk insurance program designed to address the risks involved during construction, or remodelers risk insurance to cover the various exposures involved while improvements are being made.