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Construction activity up, outdoor designs highlight summer improvements

Posted on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 12:59:32 PM

Construction activity has increased throughout the summer, and homeowners are taking advantage of the warm weather to renovate their houses.

Recent data from the American Institute of Architects indicated that builder's were busy in June, and interest in home improvements was high. The Architecture Billings Index illustrated the amount of design services demanded by homeowners, many of whom are using home improvement financing to afford the upgrades.

June's ABI was 51.6, slightly down from May, but still above the median favorable score. Nationwide, business conditions are steadying, and the highest number of billings was in the Northeast and the South. 

This summer many homeowners are upgrading the outside of a home. Jenna Thuening, owner of Home Destination, noted that renovations in this area can boost a home's value, as well.

"To get the greatest enjoyment and best return on dollars invested in outdoor living spaces, home owners should study examples in design publications, drive through favorite neighborhoods to glean ideas, and ask neighbors pertinent questions," Thuening added. "Think through just how the new outdoor living space could be used, when, and what activities will take place there."

Home improvement financing can be used for a variety of items, but this year's top outdoor design improvements include courtyards, patios and pathways. Entertaining is a priority among homeowners during the warmest season.