Bathrooms topped 2017 remodeling projects: NAHB

Kitchens still a major priority
Bathroom were the most common remodels in 2017, NAHB finds.

Over 80% of remodelers said bathrooms were their most common jobs last year, just edging out kitchens at 78%, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ quarterly Remodeling Index (RMI).

Kitchens and baths have jockeyed for position as the top remodeling project over the last few years, according to NAHB. Bathroom remodels were the most requested job in 2014 and 2015; kitchen jobs were more common in 2016.

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NAHB surveys remodeler members every quarter for the index. The first survey of 2018 included a special question about the most common jobs members were hired for last year.

“While the common project percentages have remained relatively stable at the top for bathroom and kitchen remodeling—each hovering right around 80% for the past several years—the percentages for the second-tier remodeling jobs are down noticeably from recent peaks,” Paul Emrath, vice president for survey and housing policy research at NAHB, wrote in a blog post announcing the results of the survey.

Whole-house remodeling fell slightly from 53% of jobs in 2016 to 49% last year. Rounding out the top five in 2017 were room additions and window and door replacements, all of which also dropped from their 2016 levels.

Emrath noted that although these types of jobs declined, they’re still strong overall. The association suggested that the growth seen in those types of requests between 2013 and 2016 “represented in part a backlog of jobs put off during the downturn that has now largely been worked off.”

The national results are similar to what remodelers in the Western region experienced. Bathroom and kitchen jobs were the most common, at 79% and 75% respectively, followed by whole-house remodeling (49%) and room additions (40%).

However, just 19% of remodelers in the Western region, which includes Colorado, said window and door replacements were among their most common jobs. Western remodelers were more likely to be hired for deck remodeling or handyman services (26%), bathroom additions (25%) and finished basements (21%).

Window and door projects have been declining since 2014, according to the index, and are at the lowest point since NAHB started asking members about remodeling in 2001.

“Although the survey doesn’t explain why, we note that NAHB’s remodelers face competition in this space from some manufacturers of replacement windows who perform their own installations—a factor not affecting the other types of remodeling listed in the survey,” Emrath wrote.

Danielle Andrus

Danielle Andrus was previously the managing editor for Colorado Builder, and is currently Editor for the Journal of Financial Planning.

Danielle Andrus has 343 posts and counting. See all posts by Danielle Andrus

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