Inside the Biggest Remodel of 2021
February 11, 2021
As remodeling has surged during the pandemic, the International Builders’ Show unveiled a supersized renovation of a 1973 home. The lakeside house in Winter Haven, Fla., became the pick for the 2021 New American Remodel, one of the show homes on display at the virtual IBS conference this week that spotlights the latest home improvement trends and building innovations.
The home received a big overhaul of its original 4,081-square-foot, five-level space. Builders added 1,400 square feet and reduced the layout to four floors while lifting ceiling heights. The home contains six bedrooms, six-and-a-half baths, and a fully furnished cabana and outdoor entertaining area with a lanai.
Some of the biggest updates to the nearly 50-year-old home include raising its ceilings to let in more light, adding ultra-energy-efficient appliances, and a more seamless connection between the outdoor and indoor spaces. The home now features a nearly all-glass front with windows and sliding doors that enhance views, as well as gathering spots throughout the home’s multiple balconies. The home’s original solid railings were swapped out for all-glass fronts to prevent blocking outdoor views.
Mindful of the views from the inside, Rob Smith, owner of E2 Homes—which executed the remodel—said his company opted against bulky kitchen lighting. Instead, the company used LED strip lights that were embedded in the drywall to minimize the visual impact.
Smith said the home, prior to the renovation work, was one of the worst energy performers of New American Remodel show homes ever selected. So, E2 Homes added numerous energy-efficient windows and appliances, insulation, smart-home tech products, solar panels, and a tighter building envelope to improve the home’s energy performance and indoor air quality.
Smith said one of the biggest remodeling trends, which the home showcases, is a more seamless connection to the outdoors. The use of folding glass doors serves as a way to open up indoor space to the outside. The home features several entertainment spots throughout, including a new pool, splash pad, hot tub, shallow beach area, an outdoor kitchen, and green space.