Home Remodeling Contractors Expect Busy Year
The year has started off with a flurry of activity for many home remodeling contractors, and the industry overall seems optimistic that this trend will continue for the near future. A number of recent studies and polls found that home remodeling contractors have been seeing strong demand for their services, at least in certain parts of the country.
As one example, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) recently released its first-quarter 2015 Remodeling Business Pulse (RBP) data of current and future remodeling business conditions. This serves as a sort of barometer to gauge how contractors have been faring in the recent months, and how they feel about the immediate future.
The survey, conducted in March, found that contractors are in a good place right now, This positive environment is attributed to a combination of homeowners eager to finally tackle (and invest in) home improvements, and an economy that is continuing to stabilize.
Contractors in the NARI survey noted that their business activity was stronger now than it was a year prior to that point. The number of inquiries and the volume of requests for bids were both up, although the value of jobs fell slightly. This may indicate that while property owners are eager to get work done on their homes, they may be unable (or unwilling) to spend more than a certain amount. This may be explained by the fact that some homeowners are still being financially cautious in the wake of economic struggles that are still fresh in their minds. Still, the fact that they are feeling comfortable enough to take the step of remodeling at all is a positive sign.
A bright future ahead
Perhaps buoyed by this recent increase in demand, contractors are feeling confident enough to be optimistic about what this means for the near future. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents predicted growth for the next quarter, while less than 10 percent take the less optimistic outlook of predicting a decline.
Some contractors are connecting this growing activity to what they call “pent-up demand” by property owners. As the name implies, this means that these homeowners who had been hoping to do some home renovation projects were anxiously waiting—with growing impatience—to feel financially secure enough to take that step. Now that the time has finally arrived, they don’t want to waste a single moment getting started.
At the same time, it probably helps that some of these homeowners may be taking advantage of gradually loosening lending standards, which has made it possible for them of them to obtain financing to fund their home renovation projects.
As a result, the challenge that some home improvement contractors are facing is trying to juggle the many inquiries and job requests they are getting all at once. Still, that is certainly a nice “problem” to have, one that many of them likely couldn’t have imagined not too long ago.
Resale value not the only motivator
Immediately after the economy had begun to stabilize, the bulk of home renovation activity involved property owners who were focused on projects that would increase the home’s resale value. That was because they were hoping to capitalize on the fact that real estate sales were finally starting to pick up. While that rush seems to have subsided somewhat, the activity trend has now shifted to encompass people who are fixing up their homes for their family’s comfort and enjoyment. These represent people who are happy in their homes and who are planning to stay there for a while. Of course, if the housing market continues to grow stronger and sellers can expect more profit potential, some of those property owners may soon start to reconsider whether they want to stay put.
For those who are thinking in terms of resale value, they are undoubtedly focusing much of their attention on kitchens and bathrooms, which are always important priorities for potential buyers. So it would stand to reason that home renovation contractors are likely seeing strong demand for those particular types of home improvement jobs.
One takeaway for property owners who may still be on the fence and debating whether to take the plunge is that they may want to take action soon, so they can get on the contractor’s schedule before it becomes too crowded. At the very least, it is a good idea to make initial contact with the contractor and arrange a consultation, partly to get an idea as to what their workload looks like at the moment and how quickly they might be able to start the project.
RW Remodeling appreciates the business and interest from all of our current and future customers. We would love to start working on your remodeling project right away, so contact us to discuss your plans.