Homeowners who have either decided to stay in their homes or are considering selling may be helping to build momentum in the remodeling market.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the organization’s Chairman, Greg Miedema, said in a recent media statement that, “With more calls from homeowners and more projects under way, remodelers are seeing better activity in their businesses.”
NAHB reports that indicators for current remodeling market conditions have improved in all regions across the country. “A significant portion of the market improvement came from the measure for major additions and alterations (jobs worth $25,000 or more with a leap to 38.2 (from 32.7),” according to NAHB. The association’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) measures ranges from zero (very poor conditions) to 100 (excellent conditions) as rated by the remodelers surveyed.
NAHB says several factors could be contributing to better remodeling conditions. “Remodeling does uptick when there are more new homes being built and sold or existing homes being sold because people tend to remodel when they’re moving or when they’re selling. … The other thing that we could be seeing is an increase in consumer sentiment in that people have been reluctant to spend but now are feeling a little bit more confident and more willing to spend. These are things that some of our researchers think might be part of the influencers right now,” says Kelly Mack, Communications Manager for NAHB Remodelers.
Remodeling is, however, a big step for many homeowners. Getting the best value for your remodel shouldn’t come from guesswork; instead, knowing how to find a remodeling company with a solid reputation for delivering quality work throughout the entire remodeling process requires research.
Choosing the best remodeler for your project can often be a tedious process and if you don’t take the time to explore all your options it can result in frustration and too much money spent.
Making sure the company that is doing the remodel asks the right questions, does its homework, and offers full-service design and remodeling under one roof. This will help ensure a quality remodel that meets all your needs.
Steve Walton, Senior Design Consultant for Marrokal Design and Remodeling, in San Diego, California helps clients sort through what can be a complicated process to get the best value remodel.
“When I meet with clients, I have them describe their ideas for the remodeling project. I take a lot of notes,” says Walton. The design consultant then sets another meeting at Marrokal’s Design and Remodeling center. Prior to this meeting Walton has already done his homework and researched any likely obstacles for the remodel. Some companies take on a project and later discover remodeling barriers.
“I get your set-backs, zoning conditions, and height conditions and try to see if there are any issues. That way when we meet at our design center we can start looking at the architectural process,” says Walton.
The full-service home-design remodel company offers homeowners one-stop shopping for their remodeling needs. “I develop a written program based on what my clients’ needs and goals are for their remodel,” says Walton. He adds, “Throughout this I am digging deep and finding out what’s important to my clients. A lot of companies don’t ask these questions but this is how Marrokal Design and Remodeling starts to develop a preliminary budget for our clients.”
While not all remodelers offer full service (from design to construction), this type of company is often popular with homeowners. A full-service company keeps your remodeling project running smoothly by coordinating all of the necessary design, construction developments, and communication with trade companies through one primary source (removing the unnecessary hassle of trying to get numerous trade companies to work together).
Another approach to remodeling that sets quality remodelers apart from the rest is the use of value engineering to design the remodel. “Value engineering” means refining and sometimes redesigning aspects of the remodel to make it more cost-effective which ultimately saves money for the homeowner.
Mack adds that the basic tasks of asking for references, planning your budget, interviewing remodelers, asking about certifications that the remodeler holds, and making sure that all your questions are met will help set your mind at ease before you start the remodeling process.
If you’re considering a remodel, understanding some of the most popular remodeling trends can help you decide which projects may have the greatest appeal for comfort and sale-ability.
Mack says high on the list are creating outdoor living space and energy-efficient remodels to help off-set the cost of utility bills. The outdoor living trend has been steadily increasing says Mack. “This is a trend that we think will grow into 2015.”
Written by Phoebe Chongchua