In the last year we have seen a resurgence in new home starts, up 32% from 2011 to 2012, and remodeling, up 26%, according to the American Institute of Architects.  The outdoor living movement has been heavily influenced by this revival as people push to increase their living space without dramatically impacting overall costs.

According to a survey conducted by Professional Builder Magazine, this outdoor living movement has largely impacted new home trends.  43% added outdoor living options, and 53% said outdoor living is more important today than 2 years ago. Among the best selling outdoor features were enclosed porches and sliding/folding patio doors. 

Furthermore, an ABC newspoll found that 35% of people who remodel invest in the exterior of the house, and in particular outdoor living areas.

1.  Shrinking lot sizes put a growing emphasis on flexible informal spaces
2.  Increased costs of travel see homeowners spending more leisure and vacation time at home
3.  Generation X (born in the 60s,70s, and 80s) are leading the charge as ‘maximizers’ who want      to get the most out of their homes, including the backyard.

Countries like Australia embraced the outdoor living movement over 10 years ago and innovative ways to create these indoor/outdoor sanctuaries developed.  In particular, the popularity of the aluminum shutter rose.  Used mostly has multi-fold or sliding panels, outdoor areas have the flexibility to be closed, open, and anywhere in between, offering an option of protection from the sun and wind, privacy, and security.  Weatherwell Elite Aluminum shutters are now being manufactured and here in the U.S. 

Weatherwell Exterior Aluminum Shutters increases useable outdoor space