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Survey Looks at Kitchen & Bath Preferences

WASHINGTON, DC — Demand for new products and features in kitchens and bathrooms remains strong as the residential construction market continues to gain momentum, fueled in part by continued investment in the two most traditionally important areas of the home.

That’s the key finding of the American Institute of Architects’ “Home Design Trends Survey” for the fourth quarter of 2017. The quarterly survey, whose results were released last month, was conducted among a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector.

The AIA survey revealed that homeowners’ investments in kitchens and bathrooms “have contributed to improving business conditions for residential architects.” Kitchen and bath remodeling, as in past AIA surveys, remains a top performer among construction segments, significantly outpacing such sectors as custom/luxury homes, move-up homes, townhouse/condominiums and first-time buyer/affordable homes, the AIA reported.

“The custom residential market still leans heavily on additions and alterations, as well as kitchen and bath remodels,” noted Kermit Baker, chief economist for the Washington, DC-based AIA.

“Demand has remained solid for smart-home features in the kitchen, which isn’t a surprise as more new systems and products are being introduced at a dizzying pace,” said Baker, adding that “ensuring accessibility throughout these areas and promoting convenience remain priorities for homeowners.”

Among the survey’s other findings:

Some 30% of surveyed residential architects say that kitchen sizes are increasing compared to one year ago. By comparison, only 7% report a decline in kitchen sizes and 63% report that sizes are staying about the same.

Roughly 23% of the residential architects polled by the AIA report that the number of bathrooms in remodeled homes is increasing, down from 25% a year ago. The size of bathrooms, surveyed architects report, remains generally stable.

Outdoor kitchens continue to be reported as growing in popularity, as are kitchen products and features tied to technology, storage and water filtration.

Large walk-in showers are reported as growing in popularity, taking the lead in consideration for bathroom design features.

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