Growth in Remodeling Projected for 2017

Diy362aAre you noticing longer checkout lines at your local home improvement center? If you’re remodeling or thinking about it you’re part of a trend that’s increasing. Strong gains in home renovation and repair spending are expected to continue according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released recently the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects that annual growth in home improvement and repair expenditures will continue to increase, surpassing eight percent by the second quarter of 2017 before moderating somewhat later in the year.

Homeowner remodeling activity continues to be encouraged by rising home values and tightening for-sale inventories in many markets across the country, says Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center. Yet, a recent slowdown in the expansion of single family homebuilding and existing home sales could pull remodeling growth off its peak by the second half of 2017.

Even as remodeling growth trends back down, levels of spending are expected to reach new highs by the third quarter of next year, says Abbe Will, Research Analyst in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. At $327 billion annually, the homeowner improvement and repair market will surpass its previous inflation-adjusted peak from 2006.

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Easy Ways to Age Proof Your Home


Rug tape
Rug tape

Prevent slipping on a throw rug by adding rug tape to its bottom.

Daily check-in for neighbors. Condo dwellers who live alone can check on one another with a simple sign or indication. A colorful greeting card in the window sends the message “I’m up, I’m here and I’m OK”. In a neighborhood a house flag on a front porch works too.

Untangle cords of cell phones and power adapters Get a charging station to keep them in order in a one-stop landing pad for all the devices. I found them sold at Staples and online. Or use a wooden bread box by drilling a hole in the back of the box for the cords.

Be prepared for a kitchen fire. For about $25 buy a fire extinguishing spray and keep it handy. It’s not big and cumbersome so it’s easy to handle.

Easy access to well used kitchen items. Add an inexpensive folding plastic-coated wire shelf for frequently used items on the counter. Or install a backsplash accessory like a hanging rack or shelf to store things you use everyday.

Extra storage in the bathroom. We added a metal Space Saver unit (about $35) is designed to fit over a toilet for storing extra towels and toilet tissue on reachable shelves.

Don’t slip in the tub or shower. To prevent slipping on the wet floor of a bathtub or shower stall add inexpensive adhesive safety strips, decals or a mat to prevent slipping. Use a rug with non-skid backing nearby.

Make an escape plan. Make a rough sketch of the floorplan of your house and identify two exits from every room. Decide on a safe place where everyone will meet after they’ve left the house to account for each other. It might be the garage or a neighbor’s house.

Document emergency numbers Make a list that’s easy to locate to keep telephone numbers for all doctors, and an ambulance that you and family members can access quickly. Make copies of the list, one for each telephone in the house, and to give to family members or caregivers who don’t live there so they can put those numbers in their cell phones.

Better tissue holders. A typical spring-loaded tissue holder inevitably comes apart and drops to the floor when you try to replace an empty roll. Choose one with a different style, either a single vertical post open arm design or one with a pivoting arm; both styles make it easy to refill.

Step up instead of reaching. Don’t use a chair as a step stool because a chair is designed for sitting, not standing on. Buy a sturdy step stool, store it in a convenient location and use it when you need something that’s difficult to reach.

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January Home Checklist


After all the holiday decorations are packed away and stored for another year and your home life schedule gets back to normal, your home probably seems empty like ours does when all things red and green are removed. It’s a good time to pay attention to your home and take a little time to assure that all its systems are clean and functioning in proper order. These 10 items are inspections and basic cleaning jobs to make sure all systems are working.

  • Replace filters or wash permanent ones in heating system
  • Check for leaks in forced air heat duct joints and seal with duct tape
  • Look for indoor condensation on windows and cure
  • Vacuum coils of refrigerator condenser
  • Check refrigerator door seal for airtightness by closing it on a dollar bill half in and half out. If it pulls out easily the hinge may need adjusting or the seal may need to be replaced
  • Inspect and clean the spray arm and strainer of dishwasher and flush with vinegar
  • Unclutter the utility closet and reorganize
  • Inspect air leaks in electrical outlets and install foam gaskets to seal them
  • Label the electrical outlets in the power circuit panel
  • Compile product warranties

If you’re considering any home repair and improvements in the coming year, visit us at to compare the cost of hundreds of project whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor.