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Home Building Trends: A Report from the 2023 International Builders' Show

From Sustainability to Barndos and Budget-Saving Solutions, IBS Had Something for Everyone

 

As a homeowner or industry professional, you're probably always looking for the latest and greatest in home construction and design. And there's no better place to witness the industry's latest breakthroughs than at the International Builders' Show, the ultimate gathering of home-building industry experts. The show offers a unique opportunity to explore cutting-edge products, technologies, and trends revolutionizing the building industry. Of course, not everyone can attend the show, so we've created a list of the top trends. Whether you're a seasoned industry pro or a curious homeowner, grab your hard hat, and let's dive in!

 

This year’s show did not disappoint. Jessica Craig from Associated Designs said, “The show was just as big and exciting as pre-pandemic shows. KBIS, IBIS, and NHS filled every corner of the convention center - including the new West Wing.”

 

So, what are some of the newest trends from the show that we can expect to see this year?

 

Folding Picture Windows

Forget about your standard windows. Homeowners want more natural light and a feeling of bringing the outdoors in. They want house designs with outdoor-indoor living. Manufacturers are answering the call.

Image of folding glass doors

This is a gorgeous folding picture window from Jeld-Wen. Used as a patio door for easy access to nature whether you are inside or out. (Photo courtesy of Jessica Craig - Associated Designs)

 

Image of folding glass doors in a rustic style home

Here is a great example of the folding patio door in this gorgeous Rustic-style 1-5 bedroom house plan. You can really enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty. Plan #161-1222

 

Front Doors that Make a Statement

For many, gone are the days of just a plain wood front door - these new statement doors are a great way to showcase your style. Many of them have multiple window panes to let in loads of natural light - which is great if you have a dark entranceway or foyer. With all of the new colors and designs, you’ll be sure to find a style you love.

Image of multi-pane glass door and corner window

Here is an example of a lovely statement door. Not only is this a great color, but this door will let in tons of natural light into your home. (Photo courtesy of Jesica Craig - Associated Designs)

 

Energy Efficiency in Every Aspect of the Home

The New American Home (which is the official show home of the International Builder’s Show) was definitely showcasing all of the different ways to make your home energy efficient. Here are just a few of them:

  • LG Appliances - From cooktops to refrigerators to dishwashers, LG has everything to make your kitchen the envy of the neighborhood.
  • The LG Steam Closet - This alternative to dry cleaning fits right into your master bedroom closet or laundry room - using steam to sanitize and refresh your clothes - no plumbing needed! Greg Dodge of Design Basics reports that these steam closets are becoming popular in higher-end builds.
  • Advanced Heat Pump HVAC Systems & Controls from LG, especially their new Art Cool duct-free products

 

Environmentally Friendly Construction

“Advances in energy conservation and environmentally friendly construction encompassed most every part of home construction, from site development to building materials to lighting and beyond,” said Rick McAlexander of Associated Designs. For example, Plantd, the company named the most innovative start-up, focuses on producing carbon-negative building materials.

 

Smaller, Simpler Designs

As we stated in our 2023 trends article, homeowners are looking for less square footage and simpler designs due to inflation and rising interest rates. This transcends into a more cost-friendly build. Homeowners looking to build a 2000-square-foot home in 2022 are now looking at a 1500-square-foot home.

Some of the most popular designs are farmhouses and modern bungalows. With simple lines and fewer angles, these homes are easier to build and require fewer materials - they also require less labor which helps with costs.

Exterior image of farmhouse with three bedrooms & 2 baths

This lovely modern farmhouse is a great example of a floor plan that is easier to build. With 1,817 square feet of space, three bedrooms, two baths, and a 2-car garage, this wonderful home has plenty of space as well. Plan #141-1320

 

Exterior image of bungalow style home with 2 bedrooms & 2 baths

This simple yet fabulous bungalow-style home is another great example of an easy-to-build house plan. With 1,050 square feet of living space, two bedrooms, and two baths, this bungalow would be perfect for a vacation home, retirement home, or starter home. Plan #196-1231

 

We were excited to see some innovations encouraging a smaller housing footprint while living well, such as more compact appliances for the kitchen. Others discussed ways to better design a home to make the layout more efficient, such as eliminating unnecessary hallways and adding more oversized windows - something many of our designers have been doing for years. While we too love the idea of a tiny home and tiny living, as highlighted by the New York Times, we find it an unrealistic and impractical option for all but the most "dedicated to tiny living" families.

 

Appliance Hardware

Appliance hardware refers to the design, finish, and overall appearance of the physical parts of an appliance, such as handles, knobs, and hinges. Appliance hardware can come in a variety of styles and finishes, from modern to more traditional or rustic designs.

This trend seems to be getting better and better. With new colors, shapes, and designs, a homeowner can really make a bold statement in their kitchen. However, before purchasing, consider the design and style you are going for since the choice of hardware can really impact the overall look and feel of an appliance and the space it occupies.

Image of different styles of appliance hardware

Look at all of the colors and finishes on these high-end appliances. What a difference in the home! (Photo courtesy of Jessica Craig - Associated Designs)

 

Barndominiums

Barndominiums have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly in rural areas and among those who want a unique, customizable living space. They offer a blend of rustic and modern design elements and can be a more affordable and flexible option than traditional home construction. Based on the IBS Show, these barn-style home plans show no signs of slowing down.

What is a barndominium? A barndominium floor plan combines a barn and living space into a single structure. Barndominiums are typically designed to be functional and practical while also providing a unique and versatile living space.

The idea of the barndo is to take a traditional barn structure, which is typically used for agricultural purposes such as storing equipment and livestock and convert part of it into a livable space. This can include adding insulation, HVAC systems, and other features to make the space comfortable and suitable to live in.

In a typical barndominium, the living quarters are located on one side of the building, while the other side is used for storage or other purposes. The living space may be divided into separate units or apartments or designed as an open-concept layout with multiple rooms. Barndominiums can vary in size, style, and design, depending on the specific needs and preferences of the homeowners.

Exterior image of a 2 bedroom, 2 bath barndominium

This gorgeous barndominium has most of its 1,585 square feet of living space on the second floor. The main level features three stalls, storage, a barn, a mud room, and an office, while the second floor features two bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen, and a living room. Plan #108-2071

 

McAlexander summed up the vibe at the 2023 International Builders Show best, “Uncertainty seemed universal when it comes to where the housing market is heading in 2023. Construction costs, land supplies, and interest rates want to pull the market down, but low inventory of existing homes and strong demand seems to be pushing the new home market forward. Nobody is currently experiencing reprieve from a very busy 2022. While there was not a clear vision of the future, there was a very high level of enthusiasm for construction.” We can’t wait to see what 2024 brings!

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