Survey: Homeowners Bullish on Kitchens, Baths

Survey: Homeowners Bullish on Kitchens, Baths

BENSALEM, PA It can be difficult to predict the actions of consumers in times of economic uncertainty. However, for the kitchen and bath industry, a less than stellar economy doesn't necessarily mean a significant drop off in business.

The kitchen and bathroom of a home represent an investment, and improvements to those two key living spaces should be undertaken despite current economic conditions. 

That was one of the findings of a national survey of nearly 600 homeowners sponsored by SieMatic Corp., the custom cabinet manufacturer headquartered in this Philadelphia suburb. The results of the survey which was conducted via E-mail and the Internet were made available to the press at the Architectural Digest Home Show in New York last month.

The results of the nationwide poll, sponsors say, provide an interesting insight into the mindset of the high-end kitchen/bath consumer at a time when the U.S. economic picture is relatively cloudy and soft compared to the past several years. The survey's results suggest strongly that most upscale homeowners feel that recent economic softening will not stand in the way of their kitchen and bath remodeling plans. 

Respondents to the survey believe that kitchen and bath remodeling represents a safe, equity-building form of investment at a time when other investment strategies have proven volatile and unpredictable.

Most of the survey's respondents are homeowners (88%), with household incomes of $75,000 or higher. A majority (60%) of those people responding to the poll say that they are planning renovations to their kitchens and bathrooms, including paint (74%), new flooring (67%), new cabinetry (57%) and new appliances (46%).

Eighty-five percent of respondents said kitchen remodeling projects can cost upwards of $50,000. Thirteen percent, in fact, put the figure at nearly $75,000, according to SieMatic. Most estimated that bathroom remodeling projects would cost anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000, the company added.

According to SieMatic officials, 85% of the survey's respondents also said the condition of a home's kitchen and bathroom 

are a major consideration when making a "buy/not to buy" decision. The same number of respondents said investments, such as upgrading the kitchen or bath, should be made to ensure that a home's value remains strong.

In addition, SieMatic noted, 60% of the respondents said 

they were planning to renovate and/or remodel their kitchens and bathrooms within the next 12 months and slightly more than half (54%) said such renovations should be undertaken regardless of the overall condition of the economy.

"A home's kitchen is a kind of gateway to how a family lives," said SieMatic president Frank Siekmann. "Most of our customers do not let the overall condition of the economy affect their investments in kitchens and bathrooms."