According to a study by Wakefield Research for the American Home Furnishings Alliance and International Casual Furnishings Association, 90 percent of Americans with outdoor living spaces have spent more time enjoying their decks, patios, and backyards during the past year. And 78 percent said they made outside upgrades during the pandemic. So, why are exterior spaces in such need of improvement?
Outdoor Innovations Bring It Home
Most homeowners working with a home builder have limited outdoor product options to choose from, despite the growing desire for comfortable, multifunctional – and stylish – outdoor living areas. In fact, 88 percent of Americans say they are dissatisfied with their outdoor spaces. Can home builders make better choices that keep homeowners happier longer?
They can by making sure to design and build outdoor spaces right the first time, using high quality products.
There seem to be almost endless options for interior finishes, including paint, wood, decorative tile and fabric, but not as many choices for exterior surfaces. While the exterior product industry is starting to catch up, home builders and contractors might not be aware of all of the latest designs and product innovations.
To make sure you are offering homeowners access to the best available product options, research new product offerings, reach out to your suppliers, or find new vendor partners through NAHB. Consider creating custom outdoor packages to attract today’s homeowners. This will increase your margins and also open up your marketing potential to help drive sales.
The railing category is one area that has undergone significant changes and offers a wide array of customization options. In particular, aluminum railing systems are on the rise.
Aluminum is both strong and lightweight, and, when powder-coated, is not prone to rusting like steel or rotting like wood. This makes it an attractive, long-lasting solution in outdoor settings and a great material for exterior railing frames and other accents. Additionally, because aluminum products often contain recycled content, and are highly recyclable themselves, they are an eco-conscious option. And aluminum often requires minimal maintenance, which is a selling point for builders who want to appeal to homeowners’ growing desire for simpler, more carefree lifestyles.
Aluminum railing systems are as versatile as they are beautiful. Especially in demand are railings with cable infill. Cable railings preserve the view while adding an attractive metal accent that will impress home buyers. And choosing a railing constructed of durable, weather-resistant materials gives homeowners the peace of mind that their outdoor space will remain beautiful for years to come. This is especially important in marine settings and other locations exposed to constant moisture.
High quality aluminum railing systems use isolation bushings to fully separate all dissimilar metal components. This prevents corrosion in harsh environments, especially when aluminum railings are paired with stainless steel cable infill. Powder-coating the aluminum offers even more isolation; the powder electrically separates the different metals, acting as an insulator to help avoid corrosion. Most manufacturers adhere to AAMA 2604 powder-coating specifications, so you can rest assured that your clients are getting a long-lasting railing system.
To attract current home buyers, make sure your railing manufacturer offers a wide array of color options, top rail styles, and infill options. Today’s homeowners want to be able to customize their outdoor spaces to reflect their personal style, and manufacturers should be meeting that need.
More Ways to Make Exterior Spaces Stand Out
Stationary awning kits are another way to incorporate aluminum into outdoor accents. Homeowners enjoy this addition to doors and windows, especially when the awnings complement a home’s exterior and are easy to maintain.
The highest-quality awnings are constructed of powder-coated aluminum and strong polycarbonate panels for long-lasting durability and defense from the weather. Make sure the awning you choose is Class 4 impact rated, has a rain gutter to divert water, and an AAMA 2604 powder-coating.
Aluminum is environmentally friendly, easy to install and offers a broad range of options for your customers.