Construction TrendsLarge, open kitchens with plenty of space to prepare food and entertain guests. “Kitchens are coming out to be about the size of the grand room because it is the new living room. “Open family rooms and kitchen entertainment areas “are here to stay.”

Large master baths, especially for couples without kids. Boomers are looking for a “large shower with a double shower heads and a bench. …Gen Xers are looking for the big Jacuzzi tub for two. But everybody wants the shower with the bench — ladies want to shave their legs

Linen Closets. “A lot of developers were taking out linen closets out of bathrooms; buyers miss them and want them back. Even if one is not in the master bath, where they expect it, it’s in every other bathroom.

Multi-functional laundry rooms that double as a family activity area, sewing room, gift-wrap station or tech area. “Each adult needs space to call his or her own.”Space in the laundry room can accommodate that.”

Oversized garages for extra storage. “Some people build the smallest two-car garages: extra deep, [fit for a] car and a half, because they [want] a lot of storage [for] grills, patio furniture, bicycles and the grandkids’ toys.

They all want good quality Low-E windows…. People seem very tuned in to windows and window quality.

High-efficiency furnaces and water heaters. “It’s a hotter and hotter issue [that] really spiked this year with the cost of energy.

And more spa features. “Shower heads that are really big and come down like a waterfall out of the middle of the top of the shower, not out of the wall,” are popular.

Quality closet organizers. Vinyl coated wire shelving isn’t acceptable anymore. Elfe and Ikea-styled wood or plywood finishes are required at minimum.

A mudroom. “A place for what I call ‘dirty storage’: the snow board, bicycle, kayak, and the other outdoor equipment … usually off the garage area.

Home entertainment centers. “Putting the plasma [TV] and the surround sound in your family room — it’s not that you have to have a separate destination for it. “It’s … part of the living space, a center of activity in the home.”

Accessible storage. Cabinets and shelves placed at heights that can be reached without a stepladder and that have pullouts, shallow shelving to keep items within easy reach.

A keeping room. Living rooms are giving way to great rooms; a keeping room provides an intimate space for families to gather near the kitchen area. “You can put a sofa and a couple of chairs in there and a fireplace.

Flexible floor plans. Rooms and spaces that can adapt to changing needs and circumstances, that are multi-functional, perhaps with sliding doors and movable partitions. “Designing bedrooms so that they can be easily con-verted into dens … sitting rooms off the bedroom.

Emphasis on quality and detailing more than square footage. Baby boomers are willing to trade some space for [better] features.

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