As we settle into 2016, it’s traditional to reflect on the year gone by and think about the various achievements and goals reached in this time. However it’s also a time for looking ahead and making the most of a brand new start. If you know you’d like to make some improvements to your home in the next year or so, it may be worth planning ahead so that you’re not caught out by choice and cost nearer the time. Understanding what is popular, what’s ‘on the way out’ and which direction certain trends are going in can help you to choose the option which suits your home, wallet and security needs perfectly.
Some of the more popular home improvement trends of 2016 tend to hark back to days gone by. Traditional materials are being used more and more often, being teamed with modern construction techniques and security features in order to ensure any legacy problems are not continuing to compromise the home.
Aluminium Windows & Doors
Aluminium was a popular window frame material years and years ago, but it never really took off as a mainstream product. Timber and uPVC have dominated the window and door industry in the past, but now that aluminium windows and doors are becoming more attractive, thermally efficient and versatile, it’s quickly becoming the preferred material of choice when it comes to home improvements. Back when it was first used as a construction material for window frames, it tended to be only available in one colour – the original aluminium metallic shade. This, understandably, didn’t go with many styles of property so the older versions didn’t take off like uPVC did when it became a widely used material.
These days, aluminium frames are less thin and metallic looking than they used to be, and you can get them in a wide variety of colours and finishes, including a finish which looks just like real timber. The benefit of aluminium is that it’s incredibly strong, corrosion resistant and will not degrade in UV light as some other frame materials tend to do. A well-constructed, properly fitted aluminium frame should last a lifetime with proper care, saving money and saving the planet at the same time.
Timber Front Doors
After the initial excitement of man-made materials, trends these days tend to lean towards the more natural-looking materials available. Timber front doors (and garage doors, to a degree) are seeing a rise in popularity – even with very modern homes. In fact, even ultra-modern building designs may well incorporate timber, simply because it’s such a versatile material. Dark wood can be used to make an impact on more traditional properties, whereas light coloured timber is most popular with renovations and brand new property designs.
Of course, when it comes to timber, some effort needs to be given to the upkeep of the door. Timber is a natural material and without the proper protections it will degrade over time, possibly becoming unsafe and unsightly. With any timber product, protecting it from the worst of the elements by applying a woodstain every couple of years or so (the environmental conditions around your property will dictate how often you should do this) can elongate the life of the product considerably. Using a woodstain rather than a varnish is always advised due to the ability of woodstain to allow the timber to breathe. Without this feature, moisture may become trapped in the timber, unable to evaporate out, and cause problems such as rot and softness in the wood itself.