industry buffeLocal INVITES YOU…
to Be Our Next Blog-Off Expert

The eLocal Blog-Off Series has taken the Home Improvement Industry by storm.

Our first few Blog-Off threads generated an overwhelming number of responses from experts in many fields.

We would like to invite you, our contractors, to join this industry-wide conversation.

Participating in this new forum will provide you with an innovative, simple way to network and exchange ideas with consumers and fellow businesses.

This network will break down professional barriers and create a fund of knowledge with a multi-industry consensus.

In each bi-weekly Blog-Off we pose a question that is relevant to the Home Improvement Industry, giving our contractors a new opportunity to get involved twice each month.

Thus far, our panel of experts has provided insightful commentary on the following topics:

When to make plumbing and electric decisions in the design process.

The limitations of “Going Green.”

Which home remodeling projects have the best resale value.

What are essential preventative maintenance tasks.

While each of these subjects received a number of impressive responses, the topic that has drawn the most attention from bloggers so far was posed in our second Blog-Off: What are the trends in Home Improvement for 2011?

With the economy slowly on the rise, there has been an increase in the number of consumers planning home improvement projects.

What trends will be popular in 2011?

Notable industry experts gave us an insider’s view into some of the movements we can expect to see this year.

Christine Eisner of Lifestyle Design stressed “creating experiences, not appearances” in home design. Eisner’s insights focused on personalizing the home, not adopting another person’s vision.

Lynn Schrage from KOHLER put forth a truly unique explanation of new remodeling trends that have been influenced by the global travel movement. Consumers today are looking to re-create many of the spa, bath, and lounge environments they have experienced while traveling. Design too, has been influenced by a “global motif,” with homeowners incorporating rich earth tones, gold embellishments, and other exotic touches.

Lori Gilder of Diary of a Renovation suggests that homeowners will move towards more “natural” trends in design as well. Gilder explains, “There is a genuine respect and desire for materials and products that are re-purposed, re-used, re-claimed, recycled and sustainable—with colors that reflect the natural elements of the sand, sea, forests, trees and sky.” She focuses on how homeowners will employ environmentally friendly features in their design plans, such as restoring old pieces in lieu of making new purchases.

Emily Wilde of Pegasus Lighting provided insight into the ways that the lighting industry’s move towards environmental friendliness will impact homeowners’ design choices. For example, LED lighting has quickly become a prevalent form of home lighting. Wilde emphasized relevant changes occurring within the lighting industry itself. The Department of Energy has produced a new “Lighting Facts” label, which will utilize lumens instead of watts as a measure of brightness. It is important for contractors to stay up to date on these types of changes in order to help homeowners make the best and most energy efficient lighting decisions.

Chris Rodenius of Tool-Rank gave the best advice in our second Blog-Off, which can be applied across industries. He reminds homeowners and contractors alike that all trends aside, home design comes down to personal preference. He asserted that design choices should ultimately be adopted because they work well in the customer’s individual lifestyle, not simply because of their popularity.

Informed feedback from over 50 industry experts predicted over 75 trends for 2011.

Home Updates
1. Staying Put
2. Mini-Renovations
3. Curb Appeal
4. Simplified Spaces

Green Living
5. Eco-Lighting
6. Sustainable Materials
7. Healthy Homes
8. Green Plumbing and Solar Options

Efficient Spaces
9. Hybrid Spaces
10. Smaller Spaces

Tech Takeovers
11. Smart Homes
12. A/V Systems

Nature Indoors
13. Outdoor Extensions
14. Natural Inspirations

Value Awareness
15. Efficiency & Conservation
16. Consumer Collaboration
17. Home Worth
18. Recycled & Redone

More Color
19. Neutral Bases
20. Vibrant Splashes

We invite you to join the ranks of these industry experts.
Now that you have reviewed your peers’ suggestions, ask yourself: Could your last job have benefitted from implementing any of these trends, and how would your professional feedback have enhanced our list?

No Contractor Is An Island
Trends in the industry and the consciousness of consumers change and evolve with the culture. The demands for cutting-edge designs, tech-savvy upgrades, bold choices in color, new building materials, and the move towards an “eco-friendly” lifestyle call for contractors to constantly educate themselves on changes in the field.

A simple activity like reading our bi-weekly Blog-Off posts might inspire you to suggest something inventive and novel to a customer attempting to create his or her dream space.

By writing for our Blog-Off and sharing your industry expertise, you may be able to influence a fellow industry leader.

The body of knowledge being explored and cultivated in eLocal’s Blog-Off Series gives you, as a contractor, the opportunity to learn from and converse with contractors whose work relates to your own.

In addition to plumbing, electrical, roofing, and general contractors, our panel of experts includes interior design and green living professionals, who can provide fresh insights into some of the trends your customers may be seeking in their home improvement projects.

We encourage our advertisers to read the Blog-Off posts, but even more so, to participate in the dialogue.

The trajectory of this second Blog-Off thread is a strong indicator that the series will continue to grow and develop as a distinctive source of information for Home Improvement Industry experts.

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