When I first started RemodelingGuy.net in early 2009, the economy was pretty stinky to say the least. Remodeling contractors everywhere were shutting their doors or cutting way back on staff. The direction went toward smaller houses, simpler (cheaper) projects, and more DIY home improvements.
A licensed contractor in Florida from the ripe young age of 19, I took an extended vacation from the remodeling business right before all of that started. I have oft considered if I’d ever jump back in but with the economy the way it was, it seemed like a bad time. The jury is still out on that decision for me, but what I can tell you is that the US economy for residential remodeling is looking up which is pretty good news for most folks. (not so good if you had no intention of selling and loved the more competitive pricing the slow-down brought)
The National Association of Home Builders keeps troves of data on this stuff and their Remodeling Market Index is at it’s highest since the first quarter of 2004 (ten years ago for those of us who feel like that was just yesterday!). NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bill Shaw said, “The remodeling industry ends 2013 on a high note as remodeler confidence holds steady at a historically high level” and “We expect to keep this positive momentum going in 2014 as more home owners will continue to take on remodels and repairs that had been postponed in the downturn.”
Of course, based on what I’ve seen on Pinterest, the creative ideas never slowed at all, they just got more creative. I hope that never changes. I like the kind of “we’ll figure something out” ideas people come up with when they can’t throw money at a remodeling need. They are needs, by the way, not wants. 🙂
Mortgage rates are holding steady (I just saw an advertised 3.29% APR for a 15 year loan) and existing homes are moving. More good signs.
What Does This Mean To You?
If you’re a remodeling contractor it means it’ time to make sure your crew is ready and your systems are all in-order. The work will be there if you want it.
If you’re a homeowner looking to hire a pro, I think it means you better move quick if you want to get a good price and a good contractor. (my tips on How to Get a Good Contractor) When things heat-up, the best contractors are often busy meaning longer waits and higher prices. It also means fly-by-nights come out of the woodwork, so be careful!
Is there a remodeling project in your near future? What kind of job are you thinking of doing?