Q & A with Lane Cooper, COOPER Designbuilders

Lane Cooper
Cooper Designbuilders
www.cooperdesignbuilders.com

What three remodels add the most value to a home?
Kitchen’s number one, master suite is number two, and then it depends. Traditionally it’s been kitchens, baths and basements; basements because you’re adding a tremendous amount of square footage and function. But there’s also energy upgrades as something that gives a lot of value and savings, especially with all the incentives available.

What’s the best way to improve the curb appeal of a home?
I would say repair bad design. We do a lot of integrated additions and remodels to bring back the character of the homes in some of the older districts of the city. We see a lot of bad remodeling that’s been done that doesn’t really fit the home. I’d also say if you don’t have a front porch, add one. Not only does a front porch add a lot of curb appeal to a home, but it also adds a sense of community because people are always out on their front porches, talking to people going by and connecting with their neighborhoods.

What trends are you seeing in the remodeling world these days?
People are still worried about money, so it becomes a lot about how do you spend the money you do have. We’ve seen trends in materials, where people are going with better quality materials that are going to last. I think energy efficiency is a big trend too. We’re doing a lot of solar and whole-house or attic fans.

What’s in the future for the remodeling industry?
The economy’s not going to change anytime soon. It’s slowly creeping up. People are looking for a lot of long-term value in any remodeling they do. They’ll be thinking about the quality of the products in their homes, will they last a long time and what kind of intrinsic value will they get from the materials. And I think there’s a real mindset of caring about what you have and making it last longer.

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