Survey: Renovations Are Up in 2013

Survey: Renovations Are Up in 2013

More than 100,000 individuals have spoken. And they say this is going to probably be the year renovations come back. The number of U.S. users moving ahead with decorating and redecorating projects has risen by 12 percent compared to this time this past year, and 7% fewer people than last year say they are delaying home design projects because of the market, according to the 2nd annual & Home poll, which gathered over 100,000 responses from ‘s 14 million monthly unique visitors.

Indianapolis architect Mark Demerly is seeing this in his business. “There was a hiccup at the end of the year throughout the fiscal cliff, but that’s not an issue anymore,” he says. He started observing an increase in projects last fall. His four-person firm currently has 50 active projects, such as new construction, remodeling and planning. He has seen a large shift in the latter category, with more individuals fixing up houses with the intention of residing in them longer than before. Before, many homeowners were purchasing possessions, placing money into them and selling them in just two years for a profit. “Now it’s more like six to ten years,” Demerly says.

Homeowner and licensed architect Brian Lucas of Bloc architecture additionally has witnessed increased inquiries within the past year for renovations and new custom homes. He’s remodeling the inside of the home in Orlando and adding an improvement to the ground-floor kitchen and family room. The covered lanai (the roofed structure perpendicular to the house) will be for a screened-in dining room in addition to a summer kitchen adjoining to a new pool.

A number of his recent projects stem from foreclosed houses that have been purchased by empty nesters looking to downsize and young families with tools to redesign. Frequently the house “is either in dire need of an upgrade or has been so neglected that just a major renovation will resolve all the issues,” he says.

He meets monthly with a bunch of 20 architects and designers with the American Institute of Architects chapter CRAN (Custom Residential Architects Network) in Orlando, Florida; they talk the sector trends. “There’s a general overall consensus that mirrors the [] report and the AIA ABI [Architecture Billings Index],” he says. The signs are optimistic, though Lucas claims the sector is still far from the pre-2008 peak.

General contractor Michael Graves, owner of Building Zone in Phoenix, which does projects nationally, says he has seen a steady growth in both large and small home design projects around the country. He’s more projects on the books this season when compared to last year and is “cautiously optimistic,” he says. “You have to [be] in the current market.”

Here is more from the poll:

While enhancing the look and feel of a space is still the key driver for recently completed home design projects (83 percent said so), the number of homeowners who have or will create improvements to boost their home’s value climbed 7%, to 54 percent, up from 47% in last year’s poll.

The poll covers completed and planned projects, the motivations behind those projects and the effects of the market on home building, renovation and renovation plans one of users across the U.S. and across the globe. The poll responses this year span 184 countries, in spite of the fact that the poll questions were offered in English.

Even those in war-torn areas took the time to take this poll (20 individuals in Syria completed the poll), in addition to the ones from the planet’s smallest country, Nauru.

Meanwhile, the 84 percent plan to redecorate their homes and 40 percent plan to construct an addition or remodel in the next two years.

users are more inclined to cut back in other places, like vacations and other big-ticket purchases, than delay or reduce their budget for home plans. The number who say they’ll delay projects has dropped 7%, to 45 percent from 52 percent in 2012.

Over the past two years, architect Demerly has witnessed a lot of individuals give up spaces too, forgoing formal dining room and family rooms for spacious living spaces. “Individuals aren’t able to borrow as much,” he says. “They are younger or empty nesters who aren’t concerned about resale or insulting.”

This chart indicates the top markets for homeowners who plan to redesign, construct an addition or construct a custom home in the next two years.

And where will the money go? The most popular places where homeowners undertake projects year after year are bathrooms and kitchens. Throughout the past five years, U.S. users spent an average of $28,030 on kitchen remodels.

This chart indicates the average amount spent on several remodels, from low budget to high end.

Meanwhile, homeowners spent $10,422 on average on bathroom renovations.

One shift Demerly has observed from the master bath is with bathtubs. “They are gone,” he says. “People do not need to spend the money on these if they’re not going to utilize them. Before you had placed one in for resale value”

As for sticking to funding, believe that 41 percent of those surveyed said they went within their remodel budget, compared to 23% who travelled over their advertising budget. That usually means users’ 83 percent who plan to redecorate in the subsequent two years have about an 80 percent likelihood of remaining on budget.

The projects with the greatest average costs in the U.S. are custom-built homes ($609,000), complete home remodels or redesigns ($200,000), and swimming additions or replacements ($40,000).

Budget matters were just the third most challenging aspect of a remodel project. “Defining my style” was number two, while “Finding the proper product” rated as the top challenge.

Most homeowners do not plan to tackle home design projects independently. Among those planning projects in the subsequent two years, 58 percent intend to hire expert help.

General contractors are the most in-demand professionals, with 58% of renovating homeowners planning to hire one for their project. Meanwhile, the 35 percent plan to hire a rug and floor expert, 35 per cent a kitchen and bathroom specialist, 21 per cent a landscape architect or architect, 20 percent a architect and 20 per cent an interior designer.

Watch the complete report here

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