Why Homeowners Remodel

According to remodelers who answered special questions on National Association of Home Builder’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey for the first quarter of 2014, a simple “desire for better/newer amenities” ranked as the number one reason customers choose to remodel their homes.

“Desire for better/newer amenities” edged out the second place “need to repair/replace old components” by one tenth of a point. Another fairly traditional reason –“desire/need for more space” –came in third.

Reasons to remodel that are of special interest to particular stakeholders –like aging in place and energy efficiency –were further down the list. Relatively low average ratings for increasing the home’s investment value or preparing it for a sale continue to support the idea that owners are more likely to remodel for themselves than for future owners.

This is only the second time the NAHB has asked about “reasons to remodel” on the RMI (the first being in the first quarter of 2012), and most of the answers on average changed very little in the intervening two years. Indeed, the average rating for nine of the 12 categories changed by one tenth of a point or less.

One exception was an increase in the “desire to be able to age in place,” something many observers were probably expecting given the aging population. “Desire/need for more space” also increased two tenths of a point. “Desire for better/newer amenities” posted the largest gain. A rise in remodeling projects motivated by desire for more space or better amenities is consistent with the general housing market recovery that many experts expect to continue.

More from the Eye on Housing blog or for more information about NAHB's RMI can be found here.