5 top home improvement trends for 2013

Choosing lighter roofing material and exterior colors can add fresh curb appeal and help improve your home's energy efficiency. (Photo courtesy of Arnold's Home Improvement)

Choosing lighter roofing material and exterior colors can add fresh curb appeal and help improve your home's energy efficiency. (Photo courtesy of Arnold's Home Improvement)

No matter how grand or quaint your home, it is your refuge from the hustle and bustle of the world. To enjoy it fully as your place to relax, unwind, create and celebrate, your home should reflect not only your authenticity and your lifestyle, but some of the conveniences, designs and trends of the times

There’s no reason to wait until you move into a bigger or newer home to enjoy many of today’s home design trends; in fact, choosing to invest time and money into your current home now will not only add value to your property, but may make you fall in love with it all over again.

The home improvement trends for 2013 are easy on the eyes, easy on the pocketbook and easy on the environment. Below are our top five home improvement trends for 2013:

1. Color

Roofing and siding colors not only increase your home’s property value, but also enhance its curb appeal. Many homeowners do not fully realize the impact that a roof has on curb appeal. In addition to protecting your home, the roof is one of the most significant features when building, buying, selling or remodeling your home. Increasingly, design-conscious homeowners want a roof that helps tie-in the total exterior package.

Selecting siding, paints and roofing shingles that are lighter in color than the traditional dark colors often selected in the past will spruce up any older home while increasing its energy efficiency. The lighter your roofing color, for example, the cooler your home will be in the summer and the less continuously your A/C  will need to run.

2. Functionality

Another top home improvement trend for 2013 is functionality – making the spaces in your home both functional and easily accessible – for yourself and others. As a result of the current challenging economic times and the renewed desire to help family, several generations may reside under the same roof.

The trend now is to design wheelchair-accessible doorways throughout the house, as well as remodeled bathrooms with stroll-in showers. Further, to save money until they land that dream job, many recent college graduates are opting to pay mom and dad for rent to move back in to the family home vs. signing a lease for a one-room apartment.

With older and younger adults sharing your space, the kitchen is one of the top rooms in a home that is being remodeled to reflect today’s lifestyle. The trend is to create a kitchen that opens into other rooms, that is spacious enough to welcome others to participate in conversations and cooking experiences and functional with top-of-the-line appliances and easily-accessible culinary gizmos and gadgets not for display – but for preparation in cooking family meals.

3. Environmentally friendly

The trend will be to use green materials for many 2013 home improvement projects. This includes thinking sustainability when insulating the attic, upgrading your home’s HVAC system, installing a skylight and how you choose to eliminate the cold or hot air seeping through your windows and doors.

Even the new driveway you are considering replacing can be environmentally-friendly. Choosing concrete (over asphalt) is easier on the environment – both because of its lighter color and the installation process. A concrete driveway doesn’t absorb as much heat or increase air temperatures on scorching hot days; energy is saved by reducing the need for continuous A/C in your home and pollution is reduced by slowing the production of sunlit-infused smog.

4. Maintenance-free materials and products

No one wants to spend extra money, time and energy constantly working on repair projects. And repair projects that involve the exterior of your home is no exception. What’s the trend? Choosing products made of other materials besides wood for your exterior home projects. These include using fiber cement or vinyl for your home’s permanent siding, composite decking, tile roofing, permanent exterior coatings and artificial grass.

These products and materials save on having to constantly paint, repair or even having to replace these features of your home’s exterior. Improving curb appeal of your home makes it so much more inviting to spend time outside gardening or barbecuing.

5. Energy efficiency

Making your home completely energy efficient is one of the top trends for 2013 home improvement projects. Fortunately today, most established and reputable home improvement contractors are familiar with energy-saving ideas and know the best alternatives to recommend that will increase your home’s overall energy efficiency.

Some of these energy-saving options include: solar water heating, energy efficient windows, efficient lighting and heat reflective exterior coating. The additional bonus? Many local power companies offer incentives for energy-efficient homes.

Stay up with the trends and make your home the comfortable, inviting and relaxing castle it was always meant to be.

About this Angie’s List Expert: Founded in 1990, Arnold’s Home Improvement is an award-winning home improvement and remodeling contractor in Toledo, Ohio. Arnold’s Home Improvement has an A+ BBB rating, is an Owens Corning Platinum Contractor, won the 2011 BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics and the 2012 Toledo Choice Remodeler of the Year.

As of March 7, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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