August 2017 The WBS Connection

Aug 25, 2017


2017 Remodeling Trends

Amped up garages, organized mudrooms, and big pops of color in kitchens are among a few of 2017’s hottest remodeling trends, according to the resource center at If your clients don’t know which updates to prioritize, sharing this info could be just what they need to get the ball rolling.

Kitchen Colors

While there’s no denying the classic beauty of a white or gray kitchen, some homeowners are looking for a bit more “pop” when it comes to design influences in the most-used room of their house. Brightly-colored backsplashes, cabinets, and even appliances make for engaging focal points and are instant conversation starters.

Design-focused Entryways

Incorporating usable, functional design pieces like trunk benches and built-in shelving keeps an entryway clean and uncluttered. At the same time they set the tone for the homeowner’s style and provide a first glance at what kind of design elements will be seen throughout the house.

Great Garages

More often we’re seeing garages act as an extension of the home. Custom shelving, storage drawers, and tool walls increase the utility of the space and organize what otherwise becomes clutter. Floor coatings cover unsightly stains, protect the floor, and give a more finished feel. Some homeowners are even throwing in a seating area to really extend the space’s functionality.


One of our favorite remodeling trends is a fantastic mudroom. These catch-all rooms are ideally located off the garage or back entryway, and they really are the best way for families to stay organized. The most functional mudrooms include custom benches, lockers, or cubbies, which Elevations by Wisconsin Building Supply designers can help your clients create.

Smart Home Updates

Today’s homeowner is remodeling with home automation and smart features in mind. Things like Wi-Fi-connected security cameras and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are simple, affordable updates that allow homeowners to monitor their home from any smart device. Luxuries like smartphone-controlled coffeemakers and even automated food recyclers are also becoming popular. The Internet of Things (IoT) is also a major player in energy efficiency. Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, automated blinds, and smart light bulbs are helpful gadgets that will lower energy bills.


LP SmartSide

It’s no secret that the most popular exterior home finish in Wisconsin is traditional vinyl siding, mostly because it’s an inexpensive option. But when it comes to bigger budgets and custom-designed homes, homeowners tend to choose natural-looking products with enhanced curb appeal.

That’s where LP SmartSide comes into play.

This engineered wood trim and siding, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, has pros that are almost too numerous to list.

Its beautiful wood-grain look can be prefinished with literally any paint color your clients choose. LP SmartSide comes in longer pieces — which means fewer seams — and is easier to cut than its competitor, fiber cement siding. Its lower density means it is easier to handle and install.

Because of its confidence in the impact resistance of LP SmartSide, the company is now providing a hail warranty. It already comes standard with a 50-year warranty that applies to fungal growth, buckling, cracking, peeling, separating, chipping, flaking, or rupturing.

To learn more about LP SmartSide, check out this video from the 2017 WBS Contractor Show.


Why Your Clients Need to Visualize

People are visual. They also know that technology is available to make their lives easier, their days more efficient. So when it comes to building a new home or embarking on a kitchen or bathroom renovation, digital visual technology is what they want, even what they expect.

The WBS Visualizer plays a vital role in allowing homeowners to envision exactly what their home will look like, so they can make choices they’ll be happy with the first time. It saves time and money, and who wouldn’t want to do that?

We’ve determined three key reasons why you should be encouraging your clients to use the WBS Visualizer.

Visualizing without a visual is HARD.

Homeowners Ryan and Becky Goemans recently built a new home with TCD Homes of De Pere, and they used the WBS Visualizer to help envision what their dream home would look like. Becky said they used it for their windows, window trim color, siding, garage doors, and exterior stone color. Without it, she said, they might have questioned or second guessed their choices until they could see them in person on their house. By then, it would have been too costly to make changes.

It saves time.

Ryan and Becky had Chris Schuette, the WBS designer who drafted their home plans set them up with a Visualizer account, but from there they were able to log in from home to pore through the different design choices. “It allows you to make decisions quicker by letting you find comfort that the selections you are making will look nice on your home,” said Becky. Instead of sitting down with their builder and trying to choose from small samples, Ryan and Becky literally saw their look come together on a computer screen.

It saves money.

When a client uses the WBS Visualizer, they don’t feel like they have to hire additional designers to help them coordinate their look, which 1 in 5 homeowners currently do. They make selections with confidence, and that cuts down the chances they’ll make a costly change order later.