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    The Hottest 2016 Home Improvement Trends

    August 9th, 2016 , Last Modified: August 9th, 2016
    1. Swarovski Crystal Fireplace

      Fire meets ice in this beautiful, limited-edition gas fireplace. It is even lined with a bed of precision-cut Swarovski crystals.

    2. Solar Shutters

      These multipurpose plantation shutters block the sun and harness its energy at the same time. The photovoltaic panels on the louvers feed energy into a small inverter that plugs directly into an outlet, which returns power back into your electrical system. The shutters can produce about 500 watts per hour, enough to power TVs, computers and small appliance.

    3. Stone Laminate Countertop

      Kitchen islands with a lifelike look of granite, marble or petrified wood, but actually covered in a laminate. The high end look of stone countertops is becoming more readily available and affordable.

    4. LED Lighting

      It's time to consider switching to the more eco-friendly, energy efficient technology of LED (light-emitting diode) lights. It's become more mainstream as it is now becoming more affordable-LED lighting is now available in ventilation fans, in-cabinet light strips and high-end fixtures. LED bulbs last longer than compact fluorescents, are mercury-free and stay cool to the touch.

    5. A Screen Door for the Garage

      If you use your garage for more than car storage, a giant screen door might be what you need. No need to worry, the garage screen door has its own track system so it does not interfere with the operation of the existing garage door. It also has a small door within the screen so the entire unit does not need to be retracted to go in and out.

    6. Solar Hot-Water Heater

      Solar hot-water heaters are quickly growing in popularity. Besides the obvious fact that traditional hot-water heaters can take up the bulk of a utility bill and contribute to harmful emissions to the environment, 30-percent tax credits are also available to solar hot- water heater users until 2016. Solar-heated water tanks provide the equivalent to a standard water heater, but if needed, electric, natural gas or propane backup systems are available.

    7. Residential Wind Turbines

      Residential-use wind turbines are becoming smaller, more efficient and hopefully more mainstream. A model by Honeywell is just 6 feet tall, 185 pounds and can start producing energy in a wind less than 1 mph. It even has an auto-shutoff at 38 mph so noise and vibration are not an issue.

    8. DIY Staircase

      Modular kits to install staircase for the average DIYer are becoming a hit. The metal stringers and wood treads are all predrilled, so the outcome will be completely uniform. The modern, open style without risers is perfect for basement remodels and urban dwellings.

    9. Electric Vehicles Charging System

      As more electric vehicles dominate the road, this home improvement addition will shortly follow.. Residential car-charging units are on the market today. This wall-mounted model just needs a dedicated 220 line to start charging, and it works on both hybrid and electric vehicles.

    10. Triple Fuel Furnace

      This hybrid furnace can heat your home using wood, oil or electric. It switches on automatically; if it runs out of wood, no sweat, because one of the other fuels will kick in on the fly.

    Tags: Home, Improvement, 2016, Shutter, Fireplace, Countertop, Lighting, Water Heater, Wind Turbines, Staircase, Charging System, Triple Fuel Furnace