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Home Building Trends: A Report from the 2022 International Builders’ Show

Home Building Trends: A Report from the 2022 International Builders’ Show



Each year, the best and the brightest in home design and construction gather at the International Builders Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath International Show (KBIS). After last year’s virtual show, this year’s show in Orlando was a real standout, showcasing the most innovative and talked about building materials, house enhancements, and design trends in the industry.


The IBS reports that there were more than 200 entries into the eight possible categories for the “Best of the IBS” awards. From those entries, 24 industry and media judges considered the following criteria to choose a champion:

  • Innovation
  • Functionality
  • Design
  • Builder/consumer-friendliness


The 2022 Best in Show

Here are the lucky winners of this year’s contest. These are definitely design trends to keep an eye on.


Including Flush Pantry Doors for a Sleeker Kitchen

Murphy Doors took home the top prize in the Best Indoor Product category. Flush doors are typically simple in design and are plain on both the inside and outside, but they don’t have to be. If you prefer to make your pantry nondescript, a flush door will do exactly that, instead highlighting other nearby designs. In addition, flush doors tend to excel in spaces where square footage might be tight, like a kitchen.

If you prefer, you can install shelving on the backside of the door to make even better use of your pantry space. However, you can also choose to swap out your shelves for a frosted glass pantry door, which is an option through Murphy.

This traditional house plan with craftsman influences has a spacious walk-in pantry that wold be perfect for a Murphy Door. Plan #142-1075


Relying on Smart Panels for Better Energy Efficiency

The SPAN Panel won the award for Best Energy Efficient Product as well as Best Home Technology product. It’s advertised as “a once in a lifetime upgrade” and it’s easy to see why. The SPAN Panel (and smart panels in general) greatly increase our quality of living within our homes by helping us monitor power usage and turn appliances on and off remotely.

SPAN is completely weather-resistant, so it can replace your current electric panel. And the best part? You don’t have to have a new construction home for it to work. So if you’d like to upgrade your current system and make it more modern, it’s still a perfect fit.


Using Smart Switches for Everyday Ease

The Swidget is a smart switch that won Best Kitchen and Bath Product this year. In general, smart switches are a great investment for our homes because they offer us more control over our devices. Smart switches bring things like lights, electric kettles, and even your tv online, so you can easily control them remotely via an app or your voice.

With smart switches, you can program your coffee machine to start brewing your first cup as soon as you press snooze, turn off your bathroom switch if you aren’t sure you unplugged the curling iron, or turn the lights on in your entryway before you even set foot inside.


Installing Decorative Panels for a Stylish Backyard

A lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is that plenty of us are now making larger investments in entertainment spaces within our homes, especially outside. Barrette Outdoor Living created intricate screen panels for personal use which won the Best Outdoor Product category this year.

The panels don’t sacrifice style but still create intimate outdoor living spaces. If you prefer to have your seating area shielded from the elements (or your neighbors), these panels mean that you don’t have to create an eyesore to maintain privacy.


Creating Safer Homes with Smart Locks

The Panolock swept the Best Window & Door category by offering homeowners a safe security solution through smart locks. What sets the Panolock apart from most competitors is that it works with all different types of hardware. That is, if you prefer a traditional doorknob, a door handle, or even a lever, it’s still completely compatible.

The main draw of a smart lock, in general, is this: never get locked out again. Your lock is connected to your home’s wifi network, so you can easily lock and unlock your doors via fingerprint, or smartphone application. The application can even be used remotely. Worried about hacking? Don’t be. Your smart lock will notify you anytime it opens or closes and if your wifi is secure, so is your home.

Please note, this product is currently not available in retail stores or for individual sales - it is available for manufacturing orders only at this time.


Decorating with Stone for a Sophisticated Look

The Mortarless Series by Evolve Stone won in the Most Innovative Building Material category. The reason the material is so cutting edge is right there in its name: no mortar required. This makes for one of the easiest installation processes in all of homebuilding, as you can use just a standard finish nailer to pop it into place in no time at all. It’s also up to 10x lighter than most competitors’ options.

In general, stone is a hot ticket in 2022 for builders everywhere. Stone, especially on a home’s exterior, provides a classic, chic look that won’t ever go out of style. Because of this, an investment in stone is one with definite ROI.


Innovating with Solar Power Roofing Materials

In 2022, most of us are already pretty familiar with solar roof panels and how they might benefit our standard of living (and our pocketbook.) However, GAF Energy took home the top prize in the Most Innovative Construction Tool category because its team created actual solar shingles. While GAF also sells panels that can be attached to your roof, the next step forward in this space is the idea that your entire roof is solar and energy-efficient from the get-go, and the panels are not separately installed as an afterthought.

Solar shingles are fully weather resistant and don’t detract from curb appeal, as they come in common roofing colors, like slate gray. They will also add resale value to your home in years to come, as the market continues to tip towards alternative energy sources.


Solar shingles are fully weather resistant and don’t detract from curb appeal, as they come in common roofing colors, like slate gray. They will also add resale value to your home in years to come, as the market continues to tip towards alternative energy sources.


2022 Highlighted Talks


The International Builders’ Show isn’t just a competition: it’s also an educational expo. Here are some of the talks held this year that really caught our eye.


Small House, BIG Impact

The smaller house trend will continue to grow throughout the rest of 2022 and beyond. Greg Dodge of Design Basics, who was at the show and an exhibitor, said, "Our client’s and potential client’s focus was on smaller, efficient to build designs." 

While some critics assert that these homes are just too small to yield a high quality of life, those who inhabit them say otherwise. Small house owners enjoy a number of benefits like mobility, an overall smaller carbon footprint, as well as fewer chores around the house. If you have less space, it’s less to keep clean and tidy, which is surely a dream come true for most people.

This wonderful small home pushes the envelope on size with exactly 800 square feet of living space, 2 bedrooms, and 1 bath. A cozy front porch makes this home very welcoming. Plan #120-2655


Barndominiums: The What, Why &  How of the Latest Industry Trend

In the olden days, farmers used to combine their living and working spaces to save money by setting up house in parts of their barn. In 2022, we now call these “Barndominiums” and their popularity is spreading like wildfire. These homes are cheap to build and maintain, as well as very energy efficient.

We wish we could have been a fly on the wall in this panel discussion to listen in on all the best tips on how to style them (our vote is as close to a modern farmhouse as possible) and whether or not to give your new home a name.

One of our latest barn-inspired home plans, this beautiful home boasts 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a 3-car garage, and over 3100 square feet of living space. Plan #117-1144


Design: Post-Pandemic Design Trends for 2022

COVID-19 has forever changed home design. The time we spent in quarantine shifted our priorities about work/life balance, as well as the amenities we need from our homes. Going forward, the IBS predicts that homebuyers will be more interested in spaces within the home for remote work. Homeowners will also need room to nurture both their families and their hobbies, whether that’s through a large media room, or finally converting your garage into an art studio.

This amazing craft room can be found in house plan #161-1077. The stunning 6500 square foot home has 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, and a 5 car garage.


The Bad & The Good for 2022

One of the many topics of discussion groups of the IBS was what is in store for 2022 regarding home building? According to Jonathan Boone of House Plan Zone, some of the concerns for the upcoming year are lack of home inventory, rising interest rates, supply chain issues, and the rising cost of materials. "Even with these negative factors, 2022 will still be a strong year due to the strong demand and lack of inventory," said Jonathan. 

As usual, the IBS did not disappoint. With all of the new technology and modern conveniences that are ever-changing, the IBS is a great way to see what the future holds in homebuilding.

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