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News: Layout Heats Up

Home industry experts around the nation grew optimistic in the recent news that the Remodeling Market Index had climbed to its highest level in five decades. According to the National Association of Home Builders, remodeling thought is at its highest since 2007, and should continue to increase through 2012. This change has been a long time coming, and it may be seen from the projects on and nearly anyplace else.

Much of this has to do with the worldwide market. Some remodels are based on changes in family life — a parent or a child moving in, for example. Others are based on a pent-up requirement for making a dream home. People are spending more time at home with all the people they love. Long-lasting materials, sustainability, design and wrought floor plans have become priorities.

We talked to contractors and experts from all over the nation to receive a glimpse of how prevalent this shift is and its impact on the home industry. The consensus appears clear: Remodeling is king right now, and it is not going anywhere anytime soon.

More: Cautious Optimism Among Home Builders

Siemasko + Verbridge

Home professionals note various tendencies in remodeling across the country

“Two decades ago, two-thirds of my job was new building plus a third was renovation projects. In the previous two decades, that has turned,” states Charlie Simmons of Charlie & Co.. Layout. “It is difficult to sell a home — rather than potentially taking a loss to sell their property, people are changing their current home to get the most out of what they have.”

Sven Gustafson, a custom home builder and proprietor of Stonewood LLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota states that while his new building business has not diminished, the remodeling aspect of his business has increased to about precisely the exact same level as the new building side.

Ed Dion of Dion Builders in Tallahassee, Florida has observed something quite different in his home state. “I have not noticed an increase in remodeling,” he states. “A decrease in building overall with remodeling fared better than new home building — contractors who normally assemble new houses are currently renovating.”

Charlie & Co.. Design, Ltd

Remodeling projects mirror changes in lifestyle

While the push in the center of the change is definitely the present condition of the worldwide market, smaller variables are at work, too. Individuals are living different lives than they did five or 10 decades ago.

Individuals want open living areas where everybody can spend some time together, and family-friendly houses that allow every room to be used on a normal basis. For many homeowners, the kitchen has become the true heart of the home, and family life emanates about it.

Kitchensmaster suites and outdoor spaces are still the very renovated spaces. Builders and remodelers across the nation often cite these areas of the home as the principal priorities for their clientele. “Of course, often you start working on a kitchen along with also the remodel gradually makes its way out to other chambers,” Charlie Simmons states.

Pent-up need

Many homeowners are awaiting redesign because the downturn in 2008. “Our clients have been talking about improving their houses for quite a while,” states Dave Spetrino of the Plantation Building Corp in Wilmington, North Carolina. “They feel as though they’ve been patient long enough, and even if the restoration is slow, there is no reason they should continue to delay much needed and well-deserved improvements.”

Before Photo

Carrie B Brunner

Some projects reflect an aging population

a lot of these remodeling projects are done with aging in mind. According to the NAHB, about 62 percent of contractors surveyed in 2010 were working on home modification projects because of aging. “We aging baby boomers are spending money to make our homes more accessible,” states Ed Dion. “Everything from grab bars over the tub, to retrofitting houses to fit a elevator somewhere.” Many builders anticipate boomers to dictate the market as the population continues to age.

Young families will eventually dictate that the industry

But Thad Siemasko and Jean Verbridge of Siemasko + Verbridge architects in Massachusetts believe young people will catch hold of the market finally and start focusing on family-friendly housing in a mid-century style. This architecture company can also be seeing a shift in style within their renovation projects. Owners have started to look more towards tidy and much more contemporary designs, and need customized spaces with quality materials.

Siemasko + Verbridge

A change in demand makes a shift in supply

For many builders, it has meant a change in targets. For others, it is meant keeping an eye on the competition. “The tendency shift is a bit scary,” states Nathan Cross of NWC Construction in Florida. “Most contractors are capable of building something new, very few are capable of performing renovation work. Sometimes that means that the market is overwhelmed with inexperienced men and women. Homeowners should make sure to hire a professional remodeler — one which can provide you references and show you projects.”

Dave Nielsen, CEO of Portland Oregon’s HBA and the Professional Remodeler’s Organization talked with some of the band’s 200 members to receive their input, and many had concerns about new builders getting into the remodeling market. It is an entirely different field. New builders often cost by square footage, which will not work in remodeling. As a result, costs are quoted far too low, and at times they will find out they can not complete the job at the price. This means that professional remodelers have to work even harder and reduce their margins substantially into compete.

There is often confusion on the type of professional to hire when remodeling. Portland’s HBA PROs frequently clarify this gap with their clients: Builders produce a product, and remodelers provide a service. But, there are also many full-service businesses which can do anything a customer requirements.

Advantage Contracting

Remodeling aids houses sell

For homeowners looking to market, that buyers are willing to remodel in the future doesn’t mean you can leave your home in fixer-upper condition. Most contractors say the market is searching for houses in excellent condition. “In many instances, buyers have lots of houses to select from,” states Dave Spetrino. “They are going to gravitate toward houses that need less work or possess the move-right-in feeling. Updating your home before you record it available will definitely increase the amount of prospects.”

The consensus is that people are looking to have a home that they will remain in for quite a while. Bob Peterson, the NAHB Remodelers Chair, states he’s heard less about resale one of homeowners in the previous six months than at any other time throughout his career. “People are staying home,” he states. “They need somewhere to earn their own.”

Before Photo

Carrie B Brunner

Projects concentrate on quality and sustainability

“We anticipate that the trend within the next several years will concentrate on remodeling. Those projects will add value to a home, while at precisely the exact same time providing better livability along with a fresh sense of style,” states Douglas Dick, AIA, of LDa Architecture and Interiors in Cambridge, Mass.”Sustainability will continue to be an important part of a remodel as homeowners work to reduce their energy costs while making a real effort to reside within an earth-friendly method.”

Remodeling to rise through 2012

As existing houses in the marketplace continue to age and the availability of property continues to decrease, odds are that the amount of remodels will continue to go up. “Our latest release of our Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity suggests the year will begin slow, but gain momentum by the second half of the year,” says Abbe H. Will, a Research Analyst in the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. “Continued improvements in the job market and housing market must make homeowners more confident about investing in their homes and project some of the larger discretionary projects they put off throughout the downturn.”

“The long and short of this is, I believe people are figuring out that the market is what it is,” says Mike Davis of TMT Home Remodelers in Central Oregon and chair of the State Remodelers Committee. “Even though we are not seeing a very considerable uptick in the market, we are not seeing it drop any further either. That essence of predictability serves well for the consuming public because they have some notion of what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

Tell us: Are you remodeling this season?

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