Posted by: jeb1 | November 8, 2010

Homeowners Shifting Focus from Cosmetic to Necessary Remodeling Projects

Kitchen and bath projects down first time in over a year

GOLDEN, Colo. — Nov. 4, 2010 — New home improvement data and nationwide survey results released today by ServiceMagic show that in the third quarter of this year, demand for additions and remodeling projects decreased, while demand for necessary high-cost maintenance and repair services saw gains.

The data is collected from ServiceMagic’s Q3 2010 Home Remodeling and Repair Index, containing information compiled from 1.5 million service requests received through ServiceMagic’s online marketplace from August to October of this year, as well as results from a survey of homeowners and service professionals conducted in October.

After a strong start in the first quarter, year-over-year growth in demand for additions and remodeling has started slow and is down -18 percent nationally. Demand for kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling has fallen to -6 percent and -33 percent, respectively, in the third quarter. These tasks saw a dramatic increase earlier in the year with kitchen remodel service requests up 191 percent and bathroom remodel up 30 percent in the first quarter. 

“The past couple quarters we reported strong indications from homeowners about their pent-up demand for remodeling their homes, particularly for kitchen and bath remodeling,” said Craig Smith, ServiceMagic’s CEO. “It appears that this pent-up demand front-loaded the work into the first half of the year. 

The built-up demand for high-cost maintenance and repair services is unfolding as year-over-year demand increased in the third quarter. According to the consumer sentiment survey, 46 percent of consumers have waited a year or longer to invest in necessary high-cost maintenance and repair services. Sixty-two percent of homeowners surveyed said they invested in these high-cost home improvement projects because the repairs needed to be done to avoid further upkeep. Nationally, there was an increase in the following high-cost maintenance and repair services:

  • Heating and furnace system service requests increased by 30 percent
  • Window installation service requests increased by 25 percent
  • Septic tanks and well service requests increased by 12 percent
  • Roofing service requests increased by four percent

More Data Available

Visit to download the complete Q3 2010 Home Remodeling and Repair Index, which includes home improvement regional and city data on home project spending trends, as well as specific categories of projects that have seen increases and decreases as compared to the same quarter in the year prior. 

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online by ServiceMagic, Inc. in October 2010. This survey polled 331 service professionals and 1,774 consumers in the ServiceMagic network.

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