LHB’s Louisville Homearama 2010 Review

Just a reminder, Homearma 2010 runs from July 10th to the 25th. So that means there are only a few days left for you to visit this great event.

Entry into Shakes Run for Homearama 2010
Here you see the entry into Shakes Run for Homearama 2010

I recently visited Louisville’s new home showcase on a hot and humid Saturday afternoon. Other than the sweltering heat, it was great fun. (At least for an avid new home junkie, like myself.)

Rather than try and describe each home’s great features, I thought I’d write about the current trends that I see in these new upscale homes and then cover a few of the innovations that I found interesting.

New Construction Trends in Louisville

Trend 1: Green Home Building

It’s becoming more and more apparent that building green is here to stay. Almost all of the homes in this year’s Homearama touted their green characteristics.

Not only are all (10) homes Energy Star rated, but upon entering #5 The Clark by Mike Oney, the greeter was quick to inform visitors that this home was recently awarded the greenest home in Louisville. Thicker exterior walls, higher-quality spray insulation, and a geothermal system all contribute towards ultra-low energy bills.

Trend 2: Room Sizes Shrink, Closets Hold Steady

It’s quite apparent that room sizes are on the way down and builders seek to impress potential buyers will high quality building components rather than expansive spaces.

The only space where this doesn’t seem to be the case is in closets. Master closets continue to be a place where bigger is definitely better. Plus, current storage solutions are super! (Teaser: I’ll have an article next week with a designer from Closets by Design. Make sure to check back!)

Photo of several homes in this year's Homearama
There was a good crowd out for a Saturday afternoon looking a quality, new construction in Louisville, Kentucky.

Trend 3: Greater Use of Stone, In Addition to Brick

Granite has always been the high-end player in kitchen countertops. Today it’s obvious that quality stonework is something that builders are highlighting, and not just in the kitchen.

From a creek stone wall on the facade, to exposed brick in the kitchen, to limestone pillars in the basement, builders and their designers are looking for ways to impress potential clients. New quartz solutions from companies like Cambria are touting that their stone’s non-porous nature wards off bacteria, which makes it a natural choice for all manner of countertops.

Additional Trends

  1. Despite the growing number of roofing options available on the market, I did find it interesting that all the Homearama builders still continue to use asphalt shingles.
  2. Hardwood flooring, particularly dark-toned colors, was extremely popular.
  3. Smaller decks but most were either partially or completely covered.
Entry into Shake's Run for Homearama 2010
The is The Chandelier by Joe Kroll. Notice the marvelous mortar-rubbed brick exterior.

Innovative Home Building Products

There were a large number of great products at this year’s Homearama. From the new cork floors in Dan Smith’s Summercrest home to ever more efficient appliances and lighting solutions, I don’t have time to describe them all but I did want to highlight a few.

  1. Home #6 by Richard Miles had a novel retractable screen on the deck that could lowered or raised with a remote control. These screens were installed Phantom Screens and can change the usefulness of your outdoor spaces at the touch of a button. Very cool!
  2. In the same home, I learned about an under-decking solution that really enhances the appearance and longevity of your deck/patio. Undercover Systems installed this one and it was beautiful. Certainly, something to look into if you spend any amount of time in the outdoor spaces of your Louisville home.
  3. Most of the homes in Louisville are either brick or some variety of siding. Stucco houses are quite rare here. Some homeowners paint their brick to give it a cleaner, simpler style. I thought the mortar-rubbed brick treatment on Joe Kroll’s #4 home was magnificent. From a distance, it appears to be painted brick but on closer inspection, it gave the home a very interesting, old-world feel. I thought it was superb.