Home-Remodeling Activity Remains Hot Heading in to Fall
- Home-renovation professionals in the Western U.S. report the nation’s longest project backlogs.
- Silicon Valley renovation firms take more than three months, on average, to commence a job.
- Smart-home technologies and aging-in-place projects are two major trends reported by the remodeling industry.
Whether you’re in the market for a fixer-upper or are renovating your home instead of moving, plan well in advance, as remodeling firms are currently in high demand — especially in the Bay Area.
Getting a home-renovation project off the ground can take up to almost two months right now, according to Houzz’s newly introduced Renovation Barometer Backlog Index. As the third quarter begins, designers across the U.S. report a 4.3-week project backlog; architects, builders, and landscape professionals can take five to six weeks to start work; and general contractors and remodelers need an average of seven weeks to begin a job.
Remodeling firms in the Western U.S. report the longest delays before starting a new project in five of the six professions that Houzz tracks. In the Bay Area, homeowners will need to plan even further in advance, with the average project backlog at 12.6 weeks in the San Jose metropolitan area and 9.1 weeks in San Francisco.
Smart-home technologies continue to gain traction with homeowners, with 34 percent of general contractors and remodeling firms citing an uptick in work requests. Last fall, a separate Houzz survey found that about half of all homeowners who had recently completed or were planning a renovation were incorporating smart devices in the project.
Aging-in place projects are also popular, reported by 33 percent of renovation professionals surveyed. With significant home equity, high income, and other assets, baby boomers led the remodeling charge last year. According to HomeAdvisor’s 2017 True Cost Survey, older homeowners undertook the most improvement jobs of any generation last year and also spent the most money, an average of $5,604.
With about 25 percent of American homeowners now in positive-equity territory, home-remodeling professionals feel confident that they will invest in property improvements. Houzz’s Renovation Barometer is up from the second quarter of 2016 across all industry professions, with landscapers expressing the most optimism about business prospects. Outdoor renovations are especially popular this year, reports The Washington Post, as homeowners opt for amenities such as outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, high-end swimming pools, and sports courts.