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Recent Survey Reveals Homeowners Remodel Their Own Homes

This updated remodeling survey of 5,000 homeowners was conducted in the fall of 2006. The data shows a continuing trend toward large remodels, and with an increasing concern for the cost of the remodel.

All participants in the survey were considering remodeling their existing home or moving to a different one. Participants had lived in their current home (with an average home value of $422,000) for an average of 8.5 years.

Survey respondents stated that they expect to stay in their home for 17 years after their remodel is complete. (The 2005 year respondents averaged 18 years).

Some of the findings in the survey:

  • Do-It-Yourself is on the rise for remodelers;
  • 32 percent said they plan to be their own remodeling contractors (up from 25 percent in 2005).
  • 65 percent will do at least a portion of the remodeling work (up from 60 percent in 2005).
  • 50 percent who plan to remodel will spend 30 percent of their home's current value on the project (up from 33 percent last year of those who plan to remodel who will spend 30 percent of their homes value).
  • 50 percent of the respondents want more rooms, such as dens and bedrooms. 57% are planning to add one or more bathrooms (No significant change from last year)
  • 15% described their choice of materials for their remodel as expensive, 10% as economy and 75% want materials, cabinets and trim to be average for the type of home they live in.
  • 47 percent of the respondents want to remodel their bathrooms, and 55% want to remodel their kitchens
  • 55 percent of those who are considering remodeling are excited about the idea; 10 percent are dreading the process. (No significant change from last year).

Dan Fritschen, the author of the study, says that the trend towards remodeling is deepening with an increasing cost consciousness.

"With housing prices falling and interest rates higher than they were a few years ago homeowners are still remodeling, but with an emphasis on managing costs."

"Just a year ago with high home prices many homeowners were influenced by the wealth effect and were remodeling with a blank check attitude. What the survey shows is that homeowners are planning to spend about the same amount but are expecting to get more for their money. By not hiring a general contractor and doing some of the work themselves, homeowners think they can reduce the cost."

Fritschen continues "Coincidently, the home improvement industry is helping homeowners in their quest to get more for less by continuing to drop the cost of construction material and by supplying a work force that is more available to help in remodeling. The slow down in new home construction has left many laborers and tradespeople who were building new homes looking fro work from homeowners who are remodeling instead.

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