Time To Remodel

Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 8:38am

Dismal home sales sparks a surge in remodeling projects.

Another dismal report on home sales is actually welcome news for another industry. A lot of people are deciding to stay put and remodel rather than relocate.

With new home sales taking a historic plunge, falling nearly 17% last month, it's no surprise the remodeling industry is headed in the other direction.

A study out of Harvard says contractors should brace themselves for a busy year.

Angie Hicks, founder of "Angie's List," says "90% of the consumers said they were ready to spend money this year and they had actually put off projects last year. So, we've got some pent-up demand."

So, according to Angie's List founder Angie Hicks, now's the time to compile a list of remodeling projects.

Angie says "I really encourage people to go around the house, don't think about budget, just list things they see. Act as if you're buying the house because no one's as critical of a house except for when they're actually ready to buy it."

Then prioritize your projects while at the same time making sure nothing needs replacing instead of remodeling.

Angie says "that way, you don't spend money landscaping the backyard only to find out that you really needed money for the furnace."

After selecting a contractor, remember, the more you pay, the more you should pay attention.

Angie says "a big job, you definitely want to be there and interacting with the contractor, at least every morning."

Angie says unless you're already comfortable with a particular contractor, seek bids from at least three of them for each job.

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