The return of remodeling

As spring – at least the calendar says it’s spring – finally shows up this month, many people find themselves seeking to start something fresh around their house.

If they aren’t actively looking to buy a new home, they often want to paint, repair or renovate an existing one.
It appears that people are ready to move ahead. More than they wanted to last year.
Remodeling projects are gaining a foothold as people who had been delaying them are ready to move ahead, said Patrick Kennedy, vice chairman of government affairs for the National Association of Remodeling Institute, an association based in Des Plaines, Ill.
“From the remodeling aspect, we are seeing a lot of pent-up demand from people coming to us saying they should have done a project five-six years ago,” Kennedy said. “We saw it starting last year, and it’s starting to build.”
Kennedy is vice president of Superior Woodcraft Inc. of Doylestown, a company that builds custom cabinetry for single-family homes. Kennedy said his company does a lot of work throughout the Lehigh Valley and down through Bucks County and has seen new housing starts slowly coming back. He has also seen more remodeling projects for vacation homes.
“Housing starts dropped about 70 percent from the peak [in 2006],” Kennedy said. “When you are down that low, it’s not like it is business as usual. Things are headed in the right direction.”
With new housing construction, there has been more than what’s occurred in the last four to five years, and this has been pretty consistent across the board, he said.
“It’s a positive upward trend, but it’s not going up like a rocket ship,” Kennedy said.
Slow and steady, as they say.

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