HARDWARE & BUILDING MATERIALS PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT 46 CUTTINGEDGE Products Fall 2017 Hardware, Material Choices Moving Forward HORIZON Eye on the ew areas of home improvement can be as intimidating for a DIYer or homeowner as a full remodel or addition. Whether it’s updating a house with intent to sell or finally putting in the modern kitchen of their dreams, consumers can often find themselves out of their comfort zone when getting into material costs and appliance choices. A knowledgeable staff and up-to-date product selection can go a long way toward alleviating some of the anxiety on the consumer’s end. A retailer’s knowledge can build a customer’s confidence, which can fulfill the customer’s wishes for their project and potentially give a retailer a customer for years. GREEN IS GOOD Retailers have been hearing about green trends for years, but even if the hype may have died a bit, the market for green building materials will continue to grow in the coming years. Since many consumers look for long-term solutions when making such decisions in their homes, more efficient materials play a key role in their decisions. Builders should be including more energy-efficient materials such as insulation in building plans in the coming year, by offering natural materials such as foam, hemp and wool. Recycled materials and low-impact sourcing also look to be on consumers’ minds in the future. Recycled steel is a growing trend in green building, while materials like bamboo in flooring help give a unique look and increase the sustainability of a home. Energy-rated appliances will continue to be part of the conversation in new home builds. Many consumers rely on technology. While tankless water heaters aren’t new technology, their efficient design and smaller footprints are what many consumers want. Another recent change has come in roofing, with the development of synthetic underlayment replacing roofing felt. Synthetics offer several advantage, including not deteriorating in sun and wind and being easier to walk on for homeowners safety, like when they might need to get on the roof to clean their gutters. F 46-58_Hardware Building Materials_Fall17.indd 46 7/19/17 8:31 AM