2023 Design & Construction Week

Judie Docs, Executive Officer – CSP, MCSP, CGP, CMP, MIRM

North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA)

Over 200,000 housing and design professionals from across the globe flocked to Las Vegas for the 10th annual Design & Construction Week (DCW), the co-location of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show (IBS) and the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s (NKBA) Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), and the three co-dated industry shows, the National Hardware Show (NHS), The International Surfaces Event (TISE) and the Las Vegas Winter Market. The five trade shows gave DCW attendees an amazing opportunity to visit five industry trade events with just one badge.

This year’s show, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, boasted the highest attendance in DCW’s 10-year history. DCW total attendance was comprised of nearly 70,000 IBS attendees and 40,000 KBIS attendees. DCW attendees visited more than 1,800 exhibitors showcasing the latest housing products across about one million net square feet of exhibit space.

“What an incredible way to celebrate 10 years of Design & Construction Week with this record attendance,” said NAHB CEO Jerry Howard. “Walking the show floor and attending the education sessions and networking events, you could feel the energy and enthusiasm from exhibitors and attendees alike. We knew this would be the event of the year for the housing industry, but this has even surpassed our expectations.”

“It’s truly remarkable what we have accomplished these past 10 years in our industry,” said Bill Darcy, Chief Executive Officer of NKBA. “Trade shows are back and this year in Las Vegas proves just that. You could feel the positive energy flow through the show floor.”

Some of my take aways from the show are:  

Home buyer preferences have continued to shift home building trends in the wake of COVID-19. Following a brief uptick in new home sizes in 2021, the average size of a new home dropped slightly from 2,525 square feet to 2,480 square feet in 2022, and the percentage of new homes with 3+ full bathrooms and 3+ car garages dipped to 33% and 17%, respectively. Meanwhile, the percentage of homes with 4+ bedrooms rose slightly to 48%, in part because of the flexibility in use that bedrooms can provide, with the expectation that home size and amenities will continue to grow in 2023 before dropping again in 2024.

Amenities no longer necessarily translate directly to number of rooms or types of features within the home either — it can also be simply having a space within the home that provides respite.

Builders and designers are achieving this through walking paths and other outdoor spaces connected to the home, as well as the incorporation of natural materials and other examples of biophilic design. Builders saw a large jump in the demand for exterior amenities, such as patios, decks and porches, in 2023, along with increased demand for home office — which appeared on the list of buyers’ most-wanted features for the first time this year.

Demand was also on the rise for more flexible and better equipped spaces to meet buyers’ changing needs. This is true for both first-time and repeat buyers, the majority of whom prefer an open-kitchen family room. This space, Ruthroff highlighted, can be reconfigured and better utilized to provide more space for additional rooms or allow builders to incorporate higher-end components to increase the feel and function.

We’re learning that if we use less space, we can spend more on details and finishes to make rooms such as bathrooms feel more luxurious,” he added. “And people will pay a little more for solutions, such as cabinetry add-ons that eliminate dead space, that add utility.

Other home features that resonate with both first-time and repeat home buyers include:

  • Laundry rooms
  • Exterior lighting
  • Ceiling fans
  • Patios
  • Walk-in pantries
  • Hardwood flooring on the main level

Housing affordability remains a struggle, which home buyers recognize. Most home buyers (91%) are willing to compromise to afford a home. The top three areas are:

  • A smaller house
  • Simpler/more basic interiors
  • Fewer exterior amenities

The North Coast Building Industry Association is your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of services available to help you in the future as well as more information on the above topic.   So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at or call 440-934-1090.   We also have a job posting board (under the industry tab).   

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