50 Hunt Street, Suite #100
Watertown, MA 02472
Nationwide, studies show that homeowners who have been waiting for the “right time to remodel” are increasingly deciding that the time is now.
Home sales are up, so are housing prices … and homeowners have remodeling on their minds, according to an April study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
The study reports that spending on remodeling was up 9 percent in 2012 over the previous year, and growth in 2013 is expected to be even stronger.
A survey this spring of U.S. homeowners by Houzz.com and Edge Research shows that 53 percent believe now is a good time to remodel. Most of those who plan projects within the next two years say reviews are “very important” (81 percent) when deciding whom to hire, while just 8 percent cited “lowest cost option.”
Not surprisingly, bathrooms (28 percent) and kitchens (23 percent) are the rooms that most homeowners with remodeling plans are looking to upgrade.
Of course, even if remodeling feels like a safer bet these days, the buyer still must beware.
Kermit Baker, the director of the Remodeling Futures Program at Harvard, said “contractors and subcontractors are having more difficulty finding skilled labor” to meet the increased demand. Also, he added, materials costs currently are unusually volatile and it is worth shopping around.
- Check reviews and references on any contractor or design firm you want to hire.
- It’s worth waiting for the right professionals for any job, large or small. Look for teams with low turnover. That’s a good sign of a well-run business and a happy crew.
- Consider a design firm that offers project management. Not only does this help minimize headaches, it makes it easier to stay true to the original vision.
- Planning is essential! Best not to start until you have that vision in place.