Homeowners Less Likely to DIY

The RemodelOrMove.com Spring 2013 U.S. Remodeling Sentiment Report documents strong growth in higher-end home remodeling projects where a homeowner will hire a general contractor and do little or none of the work themselves.

The latest findings show that the influences of the recession are continuing to diminish. The most notable results from the survey are as follows:

  • 58 percent of homeowners report that the economy is having minimal effect on their plans for remodeling, which is up from the low of just 33 percent in the middle of the recession. 
  • Average estimated cost for the planned remodels has reached $114,000 to remodel or add on an average of 3.6 rooms, which is up from $80,000 and 2.6 rooms at the depths of the recession. 
  • Homeowners planning to hire a general contractor for their project is up to 73 percent of respondents; 55 percent will hire an architect and 80 percent report they will do little or none of the work themselves. 
  • Kitchen remodels and bathroom remodels tie for the most popular projects with 57 percent of homeowners reporting that these projects are part of their remodeling plans. 
  • The wealth effect is helping to fuel the recovery in home remodeling as homeowners taking this survey reporting an average home equity of $130,000 — the highest since 2009.

Do-it-yourself home improvement has been, and will likely continue to be, a feature of the U.S. home ownership picture. The recent decline in interest is likely a short-term result of the disproportionate economic recovery – homeowners who are better off financially are proceeding with their remodels by hiring others to do the work, while homeowners who are more budget-conscious and more inclined to do some of the work themselves are slower to start their remodeling projects. It is likely that as the economic recovery expands, more homeowners interested in DIY will begin planning remodels, and the sentiment report will show a ratio of DIY and Hire-it-done more in line with pre-recession numbers.

 

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