What is the future of remodeling?

The Farnsworth Group presented the “Future of Remodeling: Current and Future Remodeling Trends seen by Residential Architects and Remodelers,” at the most recent meeting of the Remodeling Futures Group, hosted by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

This study examined trends seen by both remodelers and architects, who identified that at least 51% of their volume was from residential work. According to Grant Farnsworth, director of business development for The Farnsworth Group, there were more similarities seen between these groups than previously.

“Architects are more optimistic, but there’s a lot of alignment in changes that both groups see in the next five or 10 years,” Farnsworth says. “The point of difference is in how quickly each group sees those changes coming about.”

This slide shows predicted remodeling trends for the next five and 10 years.

This slide shows predicted remodeling trends for the next five and 10 years.

For instance, both groups predict that energy efficiency is the top trend in the next five to 10 years, with 21 percent of remodelers and 36 percent of architects naming this the top trend. Remodelers chose automated systems, new technologies as its second top trend in the next five years (10 percent) and remodeling or repairing instead of tearing down or moving as its third (9 percent).

Thirty-four percent of remodelers predict that in 10 years, more than 50 percent of the projects they work on will include some type of home automation, which could include lighting, appliances, HVAC or security.

In terms of green products, remodelers would like to see more recycled/recaptured materials (18 percent) and affordable green products, a category that includes lower prices and rebates for using those products (16 percent).

This study also looked at industry issues facing remodeling within the next five to 10 years. These answers were provided on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing “not at all likely” and 10 representing “extremely likely.” Sixty-six percent of remodelers rated increasing labor costs at an 8, 9 or 10, with an average rating of 7.91. The second-highest rated industry issue was lack of qualified or unskilled labor, with 54 percent rating that an 8, 9 or 10 (the average rating was 7.14).

One final point of interest in this study is how much influence architects and remodelers have on what products are used on a project. Sixty-eight percent of remodelers identify that they’re extremely influential, and 31 percent say they’re somewhat influential. This is compared to 48 percent of architects who say they’re extremely influential and 51 percent who are somewhat influential. When asked ideally how much influence they’d like to have on the products and finishes used on a project, the majority of both architects and remodelers identified that they’d like a lot of influence, working closely with the owner to both make decisions (65 percent).—Nikki Golden

If you’re interested in seeing the full report, you can contact Farnsworth at gfarnsworth@thefarnsworthgroup.com.

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