A collapsing economy combined with further deterioration of the housing market continues to suppress remodeling activity according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. In fact, the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) points to a continued decline in homeowner improvement spending at the rate of 12.1 percent by the third quarter of 2009.
“Uncertainty in the housing market continues to stifle spending on homeowner improvements,” notes Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “In light of escalating job losses, consumers are reluctant to undertake major remodeling projects.”
New landscaping, a fresh coat of paint, new caulking in the bathrooms and kitchens, replacing old HVAC grilles with custom grilles and floor grates, along with other inexpensive cosmetic improvements can add a new look and feel to a home. These simple yet noticeable improvements can dress up a home for resale or simply freshen up the appearance and make a big difference in an older home until major renovations can be undertaken.
“Replacing old grilles and floor registers that shows signs of rust can make a big difference,” said Anthony Giumenta, President of Architectural Grille. “In a struggling housing market buyers notice the little details. Grilles and floor registers really stand out. Over time floor grates made with a press-fit will loosen and begin to fall apart, especially in high traffic areas. Weld locked grilles look great and insure a greater stability. You can also set your house apart with custom fabricated grilles finishes that make any home more distinctive,” explains Giumenta.
No one knows for sure where the market is going or when it will come back. In the meantime, homeowners unable undertake major renovation projects can still make improvements to their homes and lives by turning to smaller, less expensive projects. Just remember that whether you plan to live in your home or try to sell it, the little details can make a big difference.