Kitchen and bath remodels top homeowners’ makeover list
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Whether they are planning to sell or stay where they are, homeowners have remodeling on their minds.
More than two-thirds of consumers across the U.S. have immediate plans to undertake one or more home improvement projects in the next six months, according to a recent survey conducted by Realtor.com. By nearly 2-to-1, the most desired projects are kitchen and bathroom remodels.
Thirty-two percent of respondents said they either wanted to refresh the look and feel of their current home or fix-up a recently purchased home (19 percent). Another third were either planning to sell their home sometime this year (22 percent) or wanted to raise the value of their home (11 percent).
Projects planned range in scope from small DIY improvements with budgets of between $2,000 to $5,000 up to major renovations with budgets between $20,000 to $50,000, with the majority falling between $5,000 and $20,000. In general, homeowners expected to spend more on home improvements this year than they did in 2013.
By far, the most popular projects are kitchen remodels (61 percent) and bathroom remodels (59 percent), followed by patio or garden makeovers (33 percent) and exterior improvements (32 percent).
The majority of these homeowners are age 45 and older, with annual household incomes of $70,000 or more, and expects to remain in their current home for at least another five years, if not longer.
While the Realtor.com survey did not ask homeowners what particular changes they would most like in their kitchens and bathrooms, studies conducted last fall by Houzz.com may provide some insights.
In a survey conducted of Houzz.com visitors who had started or were planning kitchen renovations, 49 percent planned to completely gut their existing kitchen, and 42 percent were looking to update the kitchen they had.
The majority wanted more open, but not necessarily larger, kitchens, preferably with a kitchen island. Stainless steel appliances, granite or quartz countertops, tile or glass backsplashes, and hardwood or tiles floors continue to be the materials of choice, with a chef stove or double over topping the list of dream appliances.
Older homeowners prefer a more traditional look, while younger consumers want a contemporary design.
In a similar study of Houzz visitors who had undertaken or were planning bathroom renovations, 60 percent of respondents were planning to remodel a master bathroom, 35 percent another full bathroom and 5 percent a powder room, with 58 percent expecting to gut the existing room and start from scratch.
The main reasons for renovating were to update fixtures and features and improve functionality. More than 4 in 10 respondents -- including half of those ages 55 and older – did not want a tub in the new bathroom.
Rain showers were most popular with younger homeowners, while older homeowners preferred hand-held showers. Other priorities included high-efficiency flush toilets, double sinks, frameless glass shower doors, and increased lighting.
Coming on the heels of the recent projections from the Joint Center on Housing at Harvard University, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and the National Association of Homebuilders, the Realtor.com study provides another strong indicator that kitchen and bath remodelers can expect to be busy for the next six months. Gradual improvements in the economy and home prices should help to sustain the momentum into the first quarter of 2015.
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