Homeowners Prep for Winter With Remodels

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Homeowners are shifting away from making cosmetic improvements to their houses, instead choosing to undertake the bigger and more pressing remodeling projects necessary to get ready for winter.

According to a survey from ServiceMagic, an online markertplace that matches homeowners with contractors, demand for additions and remodeling projects decreased, while the demand for necessary high-cost maintenance and repair services saw gains during the third quarter of 2010.

Not surprisingly, heating and furnace system service requests increased by 30%, window installation service requests grew by 25%, septic tank and well service requests rose by 12% and roofing service requests increased by 4% year over year.

Conversely, kitchen and bath projects were down for the first time in more than a year, falling by 6% and 33% from the second quarter, respectively. Basement remodeling jobs were also down by 13% and housing additions fell by 21%.

“The past couple quarters we reported strong indications from homeowners about their pent-up demand for remodeling their homes, particularly for kitchen and bath remodeling,” said ServiceMagic CEO Craig Smith in a press release. “It appears that this pent-up demand front-loaded the work into the first half of the year.”

ServiceMagic aggregated the data from its online database, which includes more than 1.5 million service requests received from August through October of 2010 and an online survey in October that polled 331 service professionals and 1,774 consumers in its network.

Its latest report differs dramatically from the second quarter results released in August, which showed that homeowners were still making cosmetic improvements to their homes.

The increase in big-ticket projects this year has been fueled by homeowners’ inability to put them off any longer. Indeed, 46% of survey respondents said they have already waited a year or longer to invest in necessary high-cost maintenance and repair services. And 62% said they invested in these high-cost projects because the repairs needed to be done to avoid further upkeep.

What types of projects need to be done before the season changes completely? Check out this MainStreet article on how to winterize your home.

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