As our company enters its 30th year of designing, remodeling and building homes and commercial structures across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio, I feel compelled to reflect on how much things have changed in the construction industry. Here are just some of the things that have changed since our company was founded:
30 Years Ago – Today
Formal living rooms and family rooms – Great rooms.
8’ high ceilings – 9’ high ceilings or higher
Low pitched simple roofs – High pitched multi-planed roofs
Walk-thru laundry rooms from garage to house – Separate mud rooms and laundry rooms
Coat closets – Cubbies and lockers
Plain concrete sidewalks and patios – Stamped concrete sidewalks and patios
Portable outdoor gas grills – Outdoor kitchens with built-in grills
One-car or two-car garages – Two-car or three-car garages
One-piece fiberglass showers – Walk-in ceramic or granite showers
Plastic laminate counter tops – Granite counter tops
Chrome, polished brass or antique brass – A wide array of metallic finishes
Redwood or pressure treated decks – Composite decking
Aluminum or cedar siding – Vinyl or fiber-cement siding
Solid cut framing lumber – Engineered lumber products.
Windows with wooden frames – Vinyl/aluminum clad or all vinyl and all fiberglass windows
Harvest Gold and Avocado Green appliances – Stainless steel or black appliances.
Electric cable heat or 65% efficient gas furnaces – Geothermal, heat pumps or 95% efficient gas furnaces
Minimal wall and ceiling insulation – Walls and ceilings insulated to high R-values mandated by codes
Wood burning masonry fireplaces – Gas fired direct-vent metal fireplaces
Predominantly stained millwork and doors – Predominantly painted millwork and doors or a stained and painted mix
Particle board closet shelving – Melamine closet shelving organizers
Home telephone lines – Mobile and wireless technology
Relying on neighbors to check on your home – Remote monitoring via the smart phone
Design and drafting with paper and pencil – Computer aided drafting and design
Having been in the business for so long has presented me with a good perspective on the evolution of home design. A common thread I’ve observed in this ever changing business is that which begins as a luxury feature eventually evolves into something expected as a standard offering. This holds true for only those things that offer authentic value to the customer and the past is littered with products or building methods that could not withstand the test of time.
It would be safe to wager that the pace of change in the building industry will continue or even quicken in the years to come. 3-dimensional printing is predicted to have a big impact on designing and building structures and this is but one example of exciting changes to come.
While we embrace change and are always vigilant for methods or products that will improve the finished product we offer, it is always done with caution and a great deal of deliberation. The margin between cutting edge and the cutting room floor is very thin, indeed. Nonetheless we are excited for the future and look forward to working with you on your building or remodeling projects.