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Home Renovations And Sustainability Gain Steam During Covid-19: Cullum VP Comments

Home Renovations And Sustainability Gain Steam During Covid-19: Cullum VP Comments

Given that people have been spending a lot more time at home these past two years, it only makes sense that owners have been re-evaluating their living spaces.

The hasty repurposing of nontraditional spaces for home offices brought with it the need for office-style accoutrements. Towel closets became office supply depots. Dusty curio cabinets were replaced with stand-up desks. Wi-Fi setups were scrutinized and in many instances had to be beefed up. Very little, it seems, is off the table these days.

Interestingly, more homeowners are specifically asking that all renovations and improvements not only increase property value but also that they be completed using sustainable materials and processes. I recently had a chance to chat with Derrick Willett, VP at Cullum Homes, so I asked him about emerging trends.

Jeff Fromm: What trends are you seeing around how people want to renovate during the Covid-19 pandemic, and why?

Derrick Willett: In the past two years, we have really seen an increased focus on the functionality of available space, as well as a genuine interest in products and construction methods that create a healthy home environment.

Cullum Homes takes pride in being an industry leader in clean air technology. In our current climate, homeowners are very interested in learning the details about how their homes can be renovated to incorporate new products and technologies available in the market. In the past, the particulars about how to achieve a clean, quiet, and comfortable home might have taken a back seat to more visible attributes such as colors, materials, and finishes.


Home Renovations And Sustainability Gain Steam During Covid-19: Cullum VP Comments

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This is no longer the case. This increased emphasis on the home extends to the overall design as well, and we are getting more requests to expand or repurpose space. Examples of this include adding a second office or home gym, segmenting larger spaces in the home to achieve more privacy, or adding a guest house or other extended living space that can be used for a multitude of purposes.

Fromm: How is sustainability impacting design?

Willett: When we look at sustainability in the renovation world, it’s critical to evaluate not only the architectural design but also the interior design features as part of the initial project. We are constantly evaluating the home’s existing features and characteristics so that we can incorporate new designs and layouts with minimal disruption, with our overall goal being to add value to the homes we are entrusted with remodeling.

Fromm: What are the major sustainability trends/behaviors most commonly being addressed?

Willett: As a socially conscious company, we are always looking for ways to help with sustainability in our industry. Our renovations division often has great opportunities to partner with strategic de-construction companies to harvest the reusable components of an existing structure. Through this process, instead of large amounts of building materials going to local landfills, we are able to repurpose them.

Items such as concrete, stucco, pavers, framing, wiring, and other salvageable materials are individually separated and then transported to yards that can reprocess the materials to be used again in the future.

We also repurpose interior finish items such as plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, millwork such as cabinets, doors, trim, and even countertops. Many of these items are able to be carefully removed and then donated to local nonprofits with the intention to be resold to another end user. This not only keeps these products out of the landfill but also helps someone else complete another great project.