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In strong market, homeowners prefer smaller remodels

Posted on Monday, November 9, 2015 at 1:14:49 PM

A measure of home remodeler confidence posted a positive mark for the tenth-straight quarter as many homeowners seek to transform their houses with smaller projects.

The National Association of Home Builders' Remodeling Market Index hit 57 in the third quarter of 2015, indicating continued confidence in the market for home improvement projects. While remodelers have high hopes for their industry, and have for some time, Robert Criner, the NAHB Remodelers chair, noted that homeowners typically prefer small projects these days. Home improvement financing for these smaller remodels can be easier to acquire.

Oscar Almanzar, a representative with Home Loan Investment Bank, agreed that small projects seem to be homeowners' preferred route.

"The housing industry continues its recovery," he explained. "We are seeing great strides in the buying and selling of homes. Inventory levels are continuing a decline, which could mean a continued increase in median selling prices. Homeowners are also investing more into their existing homes. There seems to be more of a focus on smaller projects."

Here are a few small remodels that homeowners can look into:

  • Front door replacement: This sort of project can be either DIY or a professional job, depending on your experience with such projects. It is not prohibitively that expensive, and can provide a significant boost to curb appeal.
  • Add exterior lighting: Another fairly straightforward job that can go a long way toward improving your home's curb appeal.
  • Kitchen refresher: Instead of an expensive kitchen remodel, homeowners can instead look into replacing or repainting surfaces and finding a new faucet for the sink as an affordable way to refresh a kitchen.

Alamnzar had additional suggestions.

"According to Money Talk News, projects that are seeing a great return on investment include: repainting or replacing siding (+80 percent return), improving basements (+72 percent), upgrading kitchens (+79 percent), upgrading bathrooms (70 percent), adding patios or decks (+80 percent), replacing old windows (+72 percent) and landscaping."

However, if you have your sights set on exterior projects, it would be wise to move fast with winter approaching.

"With winter coming, it is a good time to focus on those interior projects," Almanzar explained. "Weather makes exterior work a bear in the colder months."