Home construction is a moving target. As homeowner preferences, material availability, and market factors shift, so must the home building industry. As a progressive home builder in the Gallatin Valley in beautiful southwestern Montana, Riverbend Builders is committed to staying ahead of these factors to ensure our homes suit those who live in them as well as the environment they inhabit. Let’s take a look at the latest in home building trends going into the second half of 2019 and what we can expect going forward as we enter this year’s primary building season. More Open Spaces As homes become more communal and family-centric, the line between dining, living, and kitchen spaces is becoming harder to distinguish. Many of our projects emphasize this, with few physical barriers between the primary shared areas of the home on the primary floors and extending to the outdoor areas of the home. Kitchens as Social Hubs It’s rare that we create a closed, sectioned-off kitchen area these days, but after all, it’s difficult to have a conversation with the cook (or cooks) in the kitchen if they’re separated by a door or wall. More seating areas, larger islands, and wider walking spaces are common in today’s modern home designs and we like the communal cooking aspect they emphasize. Sunrooms are Back Especially in beautiful southwestern Montana, a summer evening spent eating, relaxing, and conversing outdoors provides a perfect end to a long, hot day. That’s why sunrooms with wide, open windows and doors are coming back into style, as well as modular spaces with retractable walls that bring the outdoors in. Outdoor-Focused Living Spaces It started with the fixed firepit, but the shift toward outdoor living spaces is truly here. Creating the perfect balance between indoor comforts and outdoor living, we’re seeing more home designs incorporate outdoor living spaces, kitchens (even some with pizza ovens!), and dining areas built in coordination with the rest of the home’s style and tendencies. Eco-Friendly Materials With so much construction happening throughout the United States, the influx of reclaimed materials from demolished structures is at an all-time high. That’s why so many builders are utilizing wood from felled timber, demolished buildings, and other sources to reduce the environmental footprint from new construction and helping to minimize the waste of newly created materials. High-Efficiency Systems Continuing a now decades-old trend, homeowners are seeking as many high-efficiency, technology-driven solutions to helping keep their energy bills low and reduce the environmental impact of their homes. With backup batteries, solar panels, modern insulation, and radiant floor heating, modern solutions are becoming both more affordable and more attractive as they advance and improve. Smart Devices and Integrated Functionality An interesting trend over the last few years has been the advent of smart homes and connected devices. We’ve installed homes with Ethernet-over-power, built-in smart switches and plugs, and more, but we expect to see more demand for these technologies integrated directly into the fabric of the home as we move further into 2019 and beyond.