Owning a home is more than just an investment: it is a testament to your hard work and dedication and gives guests and onlookers a glimpse into your creativity and sense of style, making a home one of the ultimate components of your personal legacy.

If you are looking to build that legacy in Indianapolis or the surrounding areas, you will want to make sure your home is on the cutting edge of contemporary real estate trends, with the following innovative building materials playing an important role in many modern custom homes and renovation projects. 

Insulated Concrete Framing

With the tilt up panels used to frame most homes during the 1970’s either destroyed, damaged, or showing significant signs of defect, improved framing solutions have taken hold in recent years as subdivisions across the country are being revamped and new neighborhoods are popping up. Specifically, insulated concrete forms (ICF) are a prevalent framing solution in those areas devastated by and/or prone to a natural disaster. 

While Indianapolis may not necessarily be the heart of Tornado Alley, who remembers The Great Indy Tornado of 2019 and wants to be prepared in the event that a similar calamity should arise? Irrespective of tornadoes, the humidity in the region can make the summers unbearably hot and the winters bitingly cold for those houses with framing issues.

ICF has become such a desirable framing material because it negates many of the common issues that plague traditional wood-frame structures, specifically:

  • No swelling due to the absorption of moisture and humidity
  • A solid, one-piece fabrication that provides a steadfast barrier in the face of strong winds and dust seepage
  • No threat of mold, rot, or mildew
  • Elite thermal mass that allows for supreme control of interior temperature

Finally, quality framing, no matter the material, should provide the home with a sound structure on which to perform future home improvements and renovations. Thanks to the aforementioned properties and its customizability of design, ICF is an ideal material on which to perform renovations, ensuring that any additions are connected to the existing framing in the most airtight manner possible to help control any future HVAC costs.

Nonporous Kitchen Surfaces

If you have toured any of the trendier homes listed in the area recently, you have probably discovered that the kitchens are impressive, to say the least. Vast, open areas with free-flowing natural light; classy shelving that eliminates the clamor of slamming cabinet doors; and cutting-edge appliances that operate on a fraction of the resources of traditional kitchen units are just a few of the forward-thinking aspects of contemporary kitchens.

One item that you will want to double-check during your kitchen tour is the countertop materials. While classic products like marble, granite, and concrete definitely look imposing and elegant, their high porosity requires frequent sealing and cleaning efforts, which can become a chore for modern-day professionals who are likely trying to balance normal work responsibilities with the kids being at home 24/7 due to COVID-19 concerns, lessening the time available to perform household chores.

Fortunately, there are a number of innovative quartz and acrylic countertops that can be fabricated to provide an elegant aspect to rival the appearance of natural marble or stone. In addition, their nonporous fabrication means that little attention needs to be devoted to maintenance and repair, with cleaning being as simple as a wipe of the cloth.

No-Slip Bathroom Tile

It is no secret to those who follow business news sources that the mass exodus of the Baby Boom cohort into retirement will present some unique challenges and opportunities for the economy. One potential opportunity for those looking to purchase real estate in the Indianapolis area is that the market could swell with buyers looking to find their dream retirement home.

As such, any properties that have innovative features that will allow retirees to enjoy the full functionality of their home during their golden years will likely be able to command a premium price when listed. The bathroom is a great place to look for these “aging in place” features, as the majority of household accidents take place during showers. Some creative ideas to help mitigate this risk includes:

  • No-slip bathroom tile to increase safety when exiting the tub or shower
  • Customizable handrail kits to aid in bending and rising
  • Shower seats and removable shower heads to increase comfortability while cleaning


With historically low-interest rates, the timing has never been better to take that next step in building your legacy by buying or upgrading your current home. If that legacy will be right here in the Indianapolis area, take the time to ensure your home is constructed with the most trendy building materials on the market, allowing your legacy to prosper in 2020 and beyond.

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value