After the Second World War, houses were built in modest styles and designs, as people tended to be thankful to just have a roof over their heads. But those times have changed, and the dream home is no longer that, but a reality.
Home remodeling projects grew in the last quarter of 2013 and showed no signs of slowing, with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry confidently predicting that remodelers and contractors will have the most work this year than they have in several years. Part of this is due to a backlog from last year, and part of this is a heightened interest in people wanting to better their own homes. It also seems to be an echo of the recent recession where the value of homes dropped dramatically, and it was less expensive for homeowners to remodel than it was for them to invest in a new house entirely.
But there is one statistic that hasn’t enjoyed the same growth as general remodeling contracts, and that’s the bid-to-job conversion rate. It seems to indicate that while homeowners are ready to spend money to increase the value of their homes, they’re increasingly selective of what they want to do and who they want to hire. Homeowners aren’t content to simply remodel their homes, but are becoming more knowledgeable and savvy about the industry, and are taking time to research all the options before jumping in—or are just choosing to do it themselves.
The improving economy is also playing a large role in the increased number of remodeling projects, as the recession is officially over and economy-related fears and anxieties are starting to wane. All the negative aspects of the recession haven’t completely disappeared, though, but homeowners are letting themselves exhale as they realize the worst seems to be over.
Another sign that the remodeling industry is set to enjoy strong growth this year is the resurgence of fairs and expos, like the two-day Home Building & Remodeling Expo at the Lake Country Fairgrounds in Grayslake, Illinois this past weekend. With the organizers of the sixth-annual expo (correctly) predicting increased attendance—4,700 people came on the first day—they were able to charge an entrance fee for the first time.
So what can be predicted for the next year? Homeowners will likely remodel their homes in more sophisticated ways as they increasingly educate themselves about remodeling techniques, trends, styles and methods. But because of the higher standards homeowners have set for themselves, they’re going to wait until the right combination comes along before saying yes.