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7 Hottest Trends in New Home Design

When you build a new home, you get to pick everything from the homesite your home will be built to the exterior colors and the flooring to the light fixtures and everything in between.  As you consider how you’re going to design your new home, our design team has come up with a list of the seven hottest trends in new home design.

  1. Reviving a classic tile

You can add a bit of pizazz to your new home up by upgrading your kitchen and bathroom backsplashes to subway tile.  These tiles have been around since 1904 when they were used in the first New York subway station.  Subway tile is a great option because it’s easy to clean and the shiny surface reflects light helping to make the surrounding area brighter.  There are many color options available, so you’ll only be limited by your imagination.  You’ll want to consider what color grout to use with these tiles.  For example, white grout makes a charcoal gray tile pop as does a gray grout with white tile.

  1. Getting rid of the tub

In the past, the master bathroom has always had a bathtub and shower combination and more recently it has had a large garden tub with separate shower.  However, now many homebuyers are getting rid of the tub and opting for a larger walk-in shower.  We’ve seen this change happen more frequently as many have expressed they just don’t have the time to soak in a bathtub and would rather use the extra space for a larger shower.

  1. Bigger is better when it comes to tile

Tile has been a popular option for master bathrooms for decades.  We’ve recently seen homebuyers steering towards large-format tiles for the floors and in the shower.  Popular sizes include 12”x24”, 4”x16” and 6”x36”.  These tiles help make bathrooms look larger and can help highlight a room with a contrasting wall color.  You’ll find that larger tiles is easier maintain as there are less grout lines.

  1. Gray, gray and more gray

Gray is all the latest craze in home décor.  As you drive through neighborhoods, you see more and more homes in various shades of gray, but the gray trend doesn’t end there.  We are seeing gray on the walls, cabinets, backsplashes, fireplaces, bath fixtures and more.  This versatile, neutral color can work with just about any style, whether old world, modern, traditional or contemporary.  There are many shades to choose from as this color ranges from a light silver to a dark charcoal color.  If you enjoy changing up your décor, gray could prove to be a great option as a little change to an accent color can change the feel of a whole room.

  1. And the gray continues…

One of hot trends for the kitchen is gray cabinets. Gray is that neutral that looks good with just about everything, from your laminate floors to a colorful wall paint.  You will be happy with your choice to go gray.  You will want to think about the size of your space when deciding on gray cabinets.  If your space is small you may want a lighter gray as a darker gray would make your kitchen look smaller.  Another consideration is whether or not to have your cabinets painted gray or stained gray as you get different effects each option.

  1. A cook’s kitchen

The kitchen is the main gathering place in most homes.  Whether you are cooking a weeknight dinner or for a holiday gathering, the kitchen sees a lot of use.  Many homebuyers have been upgrading their kitchens to deluxe kitchens.  They enjoy having the stove cooktop with separate built-in double wall ovens.  For multi-generational or larger families, the double oven is an especially nice feature to have.

  1. An extension of your home…outdoors

Over the past few years, we’ve seen homebuyers investing more in their backyards to create outdoor extensions of their new homes.  These outdoor spaces have become a cherished part of the home for many as little time off doesn’t allow for many getaways and these spaces allow them the relaxing retreats they desire.  The most popular outdoor living trends we have seen are screened-in covered porches, stone fireplaces, wiring for surround sound systems and outdoor kitchens.

Designing your new home is an exciting process and only gets more exciting as you see everything coming together.  However, it can sometimes be overwhelming and that’s when an experienced new home design team is so important.  McKee Homes has highly skilled team members dedicated to creating the best home building and buying experience possible in Eastern North Carolina.  Communities we are actively involved and building in include Fayetteville, Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen, Raleigh and Wilmington, NC.  Our homes feature a variety of desirable floor plans, and you can even design your new home in our interactive design app.

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Laminate Floors vs. Engineered Hardwood Floors

Laminate flooring is fast becoming a popular choice over engineered hardwood floors for homeowners across North America because of its durability and cost effectiveness, both important aspects to consider in today’s economy. Laminate is also more environmentally friendly and easy to install.

The core of laminate flooring is made of highly pressurized wood fibers, agricultural waste and resin. A decorative paper is added to the surface and covered with a durable melamine resin. The special backing creates a moisture barrier, making it the ideal flooring choice for kitchens, bathrooms and basements.

Laminate typically has three rating levels, based on the use of the room it will be installed in. Low-use laminate is perfect for the bedroom or similar rooms that have low traffic. Average-use is made for the rooms that the whole family frequents, but where the flooring wouldn’t receive as much abuse, such as living rooms and dining rooms. High-traffic laminate is designed for just that, heavy traffic. This rating is ideal for rooms where durability is most important, such as kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms.

Many people look to solid hardwood because of its natural beauty and use of all natural materials. This type of flooring is comprised of solid pieces of wood, but homeowners may want to consider which room they are planning to place it in. Solid hardwood floors do not hold up to water and moisture well. When placed in a high humidity environment, the boards will warp and buckle over time. Homeowners should check to see if the materials were obtained in a sustainable forest in order to maintain an environmentally friendly project.

Although engineered hardwood is made similar to laminate (with a high density core), its top layer consists of a thin piece of natural wood covered by several layers of veneer. Both engineered hardwood and laminate flooring are comparable in durability, but there’s a distinct difference in price-point. Laminate varies in price from $1-$6 per square foot whereas engineered hardwood costs anywhere from $5-$15 per square foot, depending on the finish and type of wood. That’s a considerable difference especially if you’re planning to cover hundreds of square feet.

Thanks to today’s technological advances, laminate flooring has come a long way from the boring designs and feel of the 1980s. Homeowners can now enjoy a floor that looks, feels and sounds like real wood without having to empty their wallet.

Source: http://www.house-energy.com/Floors/Laminate.htm ; http://cleanmyspace.com/hardwood-vs-laminate-vs-engineered-hardwood-floors-whats-the-difference/

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What selections can I choose for my home?

When a homebuyer asks the above question, they are really asking, “How much can I personalize my new home?” This is part of the new home selections process and the answer depends upon if the homebuyer is purchasing a presale home, which is a home that has not yet been built, or an available Showcase home, which is a home that is either completely built or is in the process of being built.  This article will focus on the presale home-buying experience.  If a homebuyer purchases an available inventory home, the amount of personalization that can still be done will depend on the house’s build process stage.  Please see the McKee Homes Building Process article for more information on each stage of the building process.

Once a homebuyer, chooses their floor plan, and finalizes the paperwork involved in securing the home of their dreams, the fun begins.  Some of the personalization can be done at the same time as the initial paperwork.

If the homebuyer is not sure of what selections they want, that’s okay as our expert Design Consultant will schedule an appointment with them at either our Fayetteville or Leland, NC design studio.  The design studio has a variety of selections available to touch, see and experience, including carpet samples, kitchen and bath tile, exterior finishes, lighting and plumbing fixtures, and kitchen cabinet options.

Normally the selection’s process follows the sequential order listed below:

  1. Exterior selections: siding type and color, front door and color, roofing type and color, window, trim and shutter color.
  2. Interior selections: paint color, counter tops, cabinets and flooring.
  3. Plumbing and lighting fixtures
  4. Appliances

For a complete list of selections, please see the McKee Homes Selections Process article.

If a homebuyer is unable to visit the design studio, other arrangements will be made to accommodate the buyer’s needs.  All the homebuyer’s questions regarding selection options will be answered during this appointment.  To ensure that McKee Homes adheres to the time allotted to build a home, we encourage the homebuyer to make their selections within 14 days of signing the new home contract.

McKee Homes come with beautiful standard features, which are listed on the “Standard Feature Sheet”, available on our website neighborhood pages, and can be found at the model home in the homebuyer’s desired neighborhood.  A McKee Homes’ Sales Representative and/or Design Consultant will also be able to share these standard features with you.

If a homebuyer would like to choose an option that is not included in the standard feature package, the Design Consultant will fill out a “Change Order Request Form”, which will be added as an addendum to the homebuyer’s contract. See our Additional Options and Change Orders article for more information about this process.

It is normal for a homebuyer to feel excited and a little bit anxious during the home-buying and new home selections process.  McKee Homes’ employees are committed to making this experience a positive one.  They are available to answer questions and help the homebuyer in any way they can.  The homebuyer can also visit the McKee Homes website design studio page.

By Julie Russo and John Rives