Kitchens and Baths Remain the Most Common Remodeling Jobs
Kitchen and bathroom remodeling remain the top two most common remodeling jobs, and master bedroom suites and great rooms are the two most popular home additions, according to remodelers who were surveyed by NAHB during the first three quarters of 2006.
The bulk of the demand for remodeling jobs continued to come from the baby boom generation, according to the NAHB research, which was conducted in conjunction with the quarterly surveying used to produce the Remodeling Market Index and is being presented this month in a special report by HousingEconomics.com. However, work requests from 30- to 40-year-old members of Generation X are on the rise, and they are turning out to be bigger spenders than the generation preceding them.
Rising energy prices last year appeared to have little impact on the demand for jobs related to improving residential energy efficiency, and a majority of remodelers were involved in making modifications for aging-in-place, although they said that most consumers aren’t familiar with the concept.
In the first quarter of last year, when remodelers were asked about their most common jobs during 2005, three-out-of-four reported being hired to remodel kitchens, 67% remodeled bathrooms, 57% added rooms, 44% provided whole house remodeling and 40% replaced doors and windows.
The most commonly performed remodeling jobs were found to be consistently the same across the country, and they remained unchanged from 2001, when NAHB first asked remodelers this question.
The most popular additions or alterations in 2005 remained unchanged from the results of NAHB surveys in 2003 and 2004, with master bedrooms cited by 57% of the respondents, followed by great rooms, 49% and sunrooms, 26%.
Generation X Is on the Rise
Responding to questions geared to identifying the extent to which various age groups have increased their demand for remodeling jobs over the past five years:
- 71% of the participants reported that they had seen no increase in business from Gen Y customers in their 20s and 25% saw some increase.
- About a quarter of the remodelers reported no increase in work from Gen X customers, while 57% saw some increase and 20% indicated a significant increase.
- Work requests from 41- to 64-year-old baby boomers increased significantly for 40% of survey participants, and increased to some extent for 43%.
- About half of the remodelers reported either some or a significant increase in work requests from seniors 65 or older, while the other half saw no increase.
One of the key findings of a recent analysis of 2005 American Housing Survey data by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies shows that each generation is outspending its predecessor on remodeling. Gen Xers, for example, are spending more on home improvement today than people their same age in 1995 and are poised to eventually play a dominant role in the remodeling market.
The Joint Center analysis also shows that as the share of home-owning households headed by minorities continues to grow, to a projected 25% by 2015, this group can be expected to account for a commensurate share of the remodeling market.
Aging-in-Place a Growing Trend
Asked during last year’s second quarter if their company was involved in home modification work related to aging-in-place, about 60% responded in the affirmative, basically the same as in 2004. Forty-three percent of the companies were undertaking aging-in-place work for 45- to 54-year-olds, up from 20% when the same question was asked in 2004.
Only 8% of the remodelers surveyed thought that “most” consumers seem to be familiar with the concept of aging-in-place, 70% thought that “some” were familiar with it and 23% believed that “none” were. The findings were similar to those from a 2004 survey.
The installation of grab bars was the most common type of aging-in-place project identified in the most recent survey; it was provided by 89% of the respondents in the 12 months preceding the survey, followed by higher toilets (73%) and wider doorways (58%). The popularity of these jobs was consistent across the country and they were the same top projects reported in 2004.
About 63% of the remodelers said they had seen some increase in requests for aging-in-place features over the past five years; 12% had seen a significant increase and roughly a quarter perceived no change.
Little Surge in Demand for Energy Efficiency
Asked during the third quarter of last year to rate demand for energy efficiency improvements during the previous three months, 70% reported no change in the level of calls despite high and rising energy prices. About 22% said that demand had increased somewhat.
The most commonly identified energy-saving products installed in the three-month period were:
- Low e-windows, 85%
- Insulated exterior doors, 68%
- An overall insulation upgrade, 65%
- Ceiling fans, 59%
- In the Midwest, Argon gas windows were installed by 73% of the respondents.
- In the South and West, high-efficiency HVAC systems also ranked among the top three energy-saving products.
Want to Know the Long-Term Forecast Through 2015?
Find out in HousingEconomics.com’s Long-Term Forecast.
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To learn more, visit www.housingeconomics.com.
NAHB Kit Gives Builders Back-to-Basics Tips in Changing Market
With the current cooling of the nation’s housing market expected to persist into the middle of next year, NAHB has developed a comprehensive online toolkit geared to providing association members with information that will help them prosper in today’s changing business environment.
To access the “Back to Basics” toolkit, you must be an NAHB member and have a login to www.nahb.org. To create a login, go to www.nahb.org/login or click on the log-in button on the main menu bar.
For assistance, call the NAHB Member Service Center at 800-368-5242.