5 housing trends and innovations in 2023
Are you planning to renovate your home or build a house? The ExpoHabitation show in Montreal at the Olympic Stadium from February 9 to 12 prompted Métro to identify five trends and innovations that should mark the year.
- Back to nature
One thing the experts interviewed by Metro agree on, the trend is clearly towards natural tones, colors and/or materials. Whether with wood, quartz, stone or their imitations, a return to nature is observed, perhaps attributable to the pandemic where a majority of people have returned to the outdoors.
“For ceramics, we are no longer in concrete gray, we are in earth colors, in things that are warmer, softer and closer to nature”, explains the interior designer for Cabane Huppée, Jean-Marc Juteau. . It's a feel-good effect at home that consumers would be looking for, he adds. “It's good for the psyche,” adds the president of the Quebec Association of Hardware and Building Materials (AQMAT), Richard Darveau, adding that this need sometimes goes further, by opting for more ecological products.
- Ecological Sensitivity
In order to reduce their ecological footprint, some building materials companies are making efforts to change their production methods – for example by avoiding chemical glues – and by reducing/modifying the packaging of their products. These efforts sometimes lead “to products that are revolutionary in terms of their greenhouse gas emissions,” says Richard Darveau. As an example, he mentions the company Polyform, which recycles polystyrene (styrofoam) to manufacture insulating panels, among other things. The president of AQMAT regrets, however, that there is no government will to recover this material during home pick-ups.
Finally, concerning wood, a more eco-friendly than concrete or steel, new techniques, such as glued laminated wood, make it possible to make structures for residential buildings of up to six storeys and perhaps more, if the regulations allow it one day.
- Local products
Jean-Marc Juteau and Richard Darveau also note that consumers have an interest in local construction and decoration products. “People who have already done renovations ask us for it as much as we offer it, even if it's a little more expensive, we are able to justify the price difference,” says the interior designer. The latter makes a connection with the pandemic and affirms that people are more informed about these products which “have proven themselves over the years”.
If the president of AQMAT has also noticed an interest in local products, this is not yet observed among consumers, he specifies. “On their own, the consumer will not necessarily look at where the product comes from,” admits Richard Darveau. This interest will be more on the side of architects and designers who wish to obtain, among other things, a LEED certification which rewards sustainable buildings. On the other hand, he believes that if hardware stores adopt a display policy and professional advisers to guide customers, it will be possible to influence this trend, but everything remains to be done, he concludes.
- Connected Homes
A trend that does not seem to be denied is connected or so-called “smart” homes. Remote-controlled switches, thermostats and curtains are popular. Electrical outlets must also allow the connection of other types of wires, such as USB and USBC for example. Jean-Marc Juteau says these technologies are becoming more affordable and easier to use. Richard Darveau points out, however, that these new technologies must be adapted for seniors wishing to remain in their homes and who may have hearing or sight problems.
According to Richard Darveau, the popularity of prefabricated structures is growing in order to circumvent the problem of the labor shortage in the field. of construction, but also the shortage of materials that erupted during the pandemic. “This leads construction contractors to seriously consider the option of having the walls, at least the walls, sometimes the floor and parts of the roof built in the factory,” notes the president of AQMAT. This would also make it possible to circumvent the delays in construction sites caused by inclement weather.