That's driven savings for those who renovate. Despite some signs of a bottoming in the housing market, contractors coast to coast say they're bidding jobs for less than they would have two years ago. Lower costs for material, such as lumber, help. But mostly, contractors are paying less for labor, or they're cutting their profits.
Nationwide, the home improvement market is expected to shrink 12% this year to $217 billion for owner-occupied properties. That's after a 10% decline last year, says
Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Craig Durosko, president of 50-employee
Sun DesignRemodeling Specialists in Burke, Va., had one client who needed to borrow $125,000 for a remodeling job. He could only get $100,000 because the house didn't appraise high enough. Sun Design tweaked the client's payment schedule so that the job could be done as planned.
New Jersey-based landscape architect Chris Cipriano, of Cipriano Landscape Design, says he recently bid on a pool job. The previous contractor was hired to put in a 700-square-foot pool but made it 550 square feet, Cipriano says.
Cipriano does landscaping and pools. Competition for jobs has led some landscapers to claim that they also do pools, "even if they've never built one," he says.
Pretty interesting article about remodeling. That was a favorite expense in the HELOC crowd. The ATM could allow for master suites, additions, constant remodeling of kitchens, etc. etc.
It would be really interesting if the article had more of a geographical spin on it - since nationally some areas are basically in a depression while others are just feeling a pinch.