Three-quarters of homeowners plan to hire out their remodeling projects
Remodelers will be happy to hear the latest optimistic news from RemodelOrMove.com.
The organization’s Spring 2013 U.S. Remodeling Sentiment Report shows
strong growth in higher-end projects and a decline in the do-it-yourself
remodeling that grew during the recession.
According to the
latest survey results, 58% of homeowners report that the economy is
having minimal effect on their remodeling plans. This is up from a
mid-recession low of just 33%. Additionally, three-quarters of
homeowners (73%) say they plan to hire a general contractor for their
project, and more than half (55%) will hire an architect. A full 80% of
respondents say they plan to do little to none of the work themselves.
little surprise that kitchen and bathroom remodels tie for the most
popular projects with 57% of homeowners reporting that these projects
are part of their remodeling plans. The report shows that the average
estimated cost for planned remodels has reached $114,000 to remodel or
add on an average of 3.6 rooms, which is up from $80,000 and 2.6 rooms
at the lowest point of the recession. RemodelOrMove.com says that the
“wealth effect” is helping to fuel the recovery in home remodeling.
Survey respondents reported having an average home equity of $130,000 —
the highest amount since 2009.
Implications for the Future
the current data is promising, a correction back to higher DIY numbers
could be in the cards. “Do-it-yourself home improvement has been, and
will likely continue to be, a feature of the U.S. home ownership
picture,” RemodelOrMove.com says in its report, noting that the recent
decline in interest is likely a short-term result of the economic
recovery. “Homeowners who are better off financially are proceeding with
their remodels by hiring others to do the work, while homeowners who
are more budget-conscious and more inclined to do some of the work
themselves are slower to start their remodeling projects. It is likely
that as the economic recovery expands, more homeowners interested in DIY
will begin planning remodels and the sentiment report will show a ratio
of DIY and hire-it-done more in line with pre-recession numbers.”
Remodeler Kevin Anundson is president of the OAR Group
in Milwaukee, Wis., a company that specializes in owner-assisted
remodeling. Because of the company’s focus, Anundson says that OAR has a
disproportionate number of projects in which the homeowners want to get
involved, but the company also has numerous start-to-finish renovations
without homeowner participation.
“The economic challenges we’ve
had over the past several years caused the higher-cost remodeling
projects to be placed on hold for quite a while,” Anundson says.
“Typically, even the homeowners who want to get involved do not do much
in the larger projects because their involvement would likely cause
delays and not result in significant cost savings compared to the cost
of the overall project. Now that there is at least a perception by some
that the economy is recovering, they are tired of waiting and are
finally pulling the trigger on getting going. This is great news for all
of us in this industry.”
Anundson says that homeowners with funds
available to start spending on remodeling projects again will help
kick-start both the industry and the economy. “From there, the engine
starts running a little better and a little smoother each day,” he says.
“The fact that [homeowners] prefer not to do any of the work themselves
is also great news for [service providers]. We’re thrilled to trade our
expertise for our clients’ hard-earned dollars, and the less they
choose to take on themselves, the faster we rebuild our economy. It’s an
—Lauren Hunter, senior editor, REMODELING. twitter.com/LaurenHunter_HW