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solar panelIn Between Christmas dinner and New Year’s parties, we like to dust off our crystal ball and surmise what might happen in the coming year. And since we’re a fence company, we usually have more luck predicting things like exterior design trends than world politics or celebrity romances. We’ll leave all that to someone else. Here are a few ideas – gleaned from hearsay, little birds, rumors, the internet, and, of course our aforementioned crystal ball – about what might be coming to your yard and home in 2017.

Solar is on the Upswing

Why buy electricity from a utility when you can harness the power of the sun to fuel your house? Well, the cost of solar power can still be prohibitive, and many folks find solar panels unsightly. But that’s starting to change. In 2016, Tesla previewed its new solar shingles that look like high-end roofing materials. Once the Tesla shingles hit the market – assuming they can bring them down to a reasonable price point – many more people might be open to a solar solution.

Yards full of ADUs

We expect alternative dwelling units to multiply in backyards across Texas and America. Telecommuting is on the rise. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, the average worker telecommutes two days per month, and many do more than that. Add in people with home-based businesses and we see the need for more home office space. The rise of Airbnb is also tempting people to squeeze dollars out of their property.

Low Maintenance Materials

Engineered and hybrid building materials require less upkeep and often look as good as traditional materials. Expect more fiberglass windows and doors and fiber cement siding. In the fence business, we’ve seen the rise of vinyl fencing, which can resemble wood but is much less work. Customers love the ease of cleaning vinyl fences, and the fact that they don’t crack, split or sustain termite damage. We hate to have to think of such things, but it’s also easier to remove graffiti from a vinyl fence than a wood fence.

Native plants

Tending plants that grow easily in your climate zone is obviously a lot easier than cultivating ones that don’t. As the US has endured awful droughts, this is more important than ever. People that live in dry areas will suffer less heartache and have lower water bills if they plant flora that requires little water. Harvesting rainwater is another way to irrigate your yard responsibly.

Aging in Place

This one is both an interior and exterior trend. As people live longer and the population ages overall, spiral staircases are out and guardrails, handrails, ramps, slip-resistant decks, wide entryways and garden paths are in. Homeowners are thinking ahead and asking themselves, how can we continue to live here for another 20 or 30 years?

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Colors of 2017

Every year the color experts at Pantone Inc. pick a color of the year – and people in many industries listen. This year, in keeping with rising eco-consciousness, the color is called Greenery. (Yes, Pantone capitalizes the names of its celebrity colors.) Greenery is a yellowish spring green. As Leatrice Eiserman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute describes it, “Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.” Now, some braves souls dare to posit their own palette opinions. Sherwin-Williams has deemed Poised Taupe its color for 2017. In case you don’t know, taupe is what you get if you add a little brown paint to gray for a warm neutral. As a neutral, Poised Taupe goes with just about anything. Maybe even Greenery.
As we tuck away our crystal ball until next year, we can’t help but think that while trends are fun, an attractive, well-constructed fence never goes out of style. If you want to do right by your exterior in 2017, give us a call for all your fence and gate needs.