Homeowners pick function over frills

Forget the frills.

Forget keeping up with the Joneses. Most homeowners are going for functionality these days when they remodel their homes or build an addition.

Remodel in this economy?

Exactly. It’s cheaper than moving to a new home.

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s latest consumer poll shows that 56 percent of homeowners say function — not luxury — is their top goal in home renovating. They want functional spaces.

But, the association says, people should not only think about how they’ll use the space now, but in the future. Families with young children should look ahead to how the space will be used when the kids are grown and gone. Older homeowners should consider features that also will work for them as they get older and less mobile. And, they say, consider how the space would appeal to prospective buyers if they sell the house.

It all starts with a good good design for your needs and lifestyle and attention to details:

— Be sure to blend the new space into existing space.

— Consider the type of lighting needed. Should recessed or overhead lighting or a skylight be incorporated into the design?

— What are the current and future storage needs?

— Determine the best places to put electrical outlets, telephone jacks and cable hookups.

These details should be shared with the contractor to create a design that will give the best outcome, the association recommends.