A recovering economy is great news for the majority of Americans, though for many remodelers, it is a sign they might need to adjust the way they do business … again.
The economic downturn forced remodelers to adopt new strategies to survive in a changing market — strategies that generally led to sustained profit growth.
The newly released 2017 Remodelers’ Cost of Doing Business Study shows that the average gross profit margin for remodelers increased from 26.8% to 28.9% between 2011 and 2015. Average net profit margin increased as well, rising from 3.0% to 5.3% during that same period.
Now that spending is back up and consumers are increasingly interested in buying new (or newer) homes, remodeling expenditures are likely to grow at a more gradual pace than in recent years, according to comments made in January 2017 by National Association of Home Builders economist Paul Emrath during a press conference at the International Builders’ Show.
That means remodelers will have to identify new ways to maintain their share of the market.
“Pacific Northwest consumers are tech-savvy and community-minded,” said National Association of Home Builders Remodelers member Joseph Irons, CAPS, CGP, GMR, a remodeler from Shoreline, Wash. “We’ve reduced costs while growing our business by focusing on social media outreach and community service over traditional advertising.”
The Remodelers’ Cost of Doing Business Study assesses the growth, viability, and demographics of the remodeling industry. The 2017 study was conducted through an online survey sent out to 5,700 residential remodeling/rehabilitation firms across the country in the spring of 2016.
The full study is available for purchase at builderbooks.com. National Association of Home Builders Remodelers members are eligible for a 20% discount off the member price.
Whole house remodels and additions are regaining market share, according to a new survey of remodelers released May 2nd to kick off May’s National Home Remodeling Month. Released by National Association of Home Builders Remodelers, the survey revealed the most common projects in 2016 compared to results of previous surveys.
“While bathroom and kitchen remodels remain the most common renovations, basements, whole-house remodels and both large- and small-scale additions are returning to levels not seen since prior to the downturn,” said 2016 National Association of Home Builders Remodelers Chair Tim Shigley, CAPS, CGP, GMB, GMR.
In the survey, remodelers reported that the following projects were more common than in 2013:
Whole house remodels, which increased by 10%
- Room additions, 12%
- Finished basements, 8%
- Bathroom additions, 7%
Bathrooms topped the list of most common remodeling projects for the fifth time since 2010. Eighty-one percent of remodelers reported that bathrooms were a common remodeling job for their companies, while 79% reported the same for kitchen remodels. Window and door replacements decreased to 36% from 45% in 2014.
The 4th Quarter deadline for rebate claim submission has been extended to Friday, March 4th, 2016! This provides all Builder and Remodeler Members an extra two weeks to claim completed residential addresses from July 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. Builder & remodeler members can submit a claim for any completed residential addresses from July – December 2015 that used any of the Member Rebate Program’s 50+ Manufacturer brands in order to save money. This is the LAST Chance to claim rebates on work completed in 2015!
Why should you?
Participating members earned an average of $1,010 in rebates in 2014, and all members of the Home Builders Association of Greenville are eligible to participate. Over 70% of 2014 participants received more than their annual association dues in rebates.
Remodelers who are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work on homes that may contain lead paint under the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule now have the option to complete refresher training online, according to an EPA announcement.
However, EPA re-certifications obtained via an online refresher course will be valid for only three years – versus five years for hands-on training courses – and can only be exercised every other re-certification cycle.
“As a longtime advocate for a simplified re-certification process, National Association of Home Builders Remodelers Council appreciates that EPA’s changes provide some flexibility, but the limited and convoluted parameters of the online training option are unnecessarily complicated and could affect the number of renovators who opt to become re-certified,” said NAHB Remodelers Chair Tim Shigley, CGR, CAPS, CGP, GMB, GMR, a remodeler from Wichita, Kan.
“Whether they choose to refresh their training online or in person, with the March 31 re-certification deadline looming for over 100,000 remodelers, and thousands more later in 2016 and 2017, remodelers are left with precious little time to meet their re-certification obligations.”
Additionally, certified renovators who were grandfathered in under a HUD or EPA lead-based paint training course before the RRP rule was adopted must attend a refresher course with a hands-on component. The rule also made several streamlining and clarifying changes to RRP provisions that apply to training providers.
EPA’s changes only apply to those states where EPA administers the program. The 14 states that administer their own programs will have to take legislative or regulatory action to adopt the online refresher course option.
The White House Office of Management and Budget released the final rule to EPA on Jan. 21.
For online or in-person refresher training, remodelers should contact their Home Builders Association of Greenville, or they can find a course on EPA’s website. More information on how to determine specific deadlines can be found using “What You Need to Know about EPA Lead-Safe Re-certification.”
The issue: An estimated 380,000 remodelers and others who must re-up their Lead-Safe Certifications from the Environmental Protection Agency to comply with its Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (LRRP) rule are staring at some important deadlines.
NAHB Remodelers Chairman Robert Criner met with White House officials Monday to, again, plead the industry’s case for a simplified re-certification process for NAHB members and others who do work in homes with lead paint.
March 31, 2016, marks the end of an unprecedented extension granted last year for some of these remodelers. It’s the deadline by which those remodelers and other contractors who received their EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator certifications on or before March 31, 2010, must complete a refresher training course to maintain their status.
After March 31, 2016, the clock resumes ticking for the second phase of renovators, one day at a time. Those who became certified between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2011, must be re-certified within six years from the date they completed the original training course.
The extension did not apply to renovators operating under one of the 14 state-delegated programs.
Complicating matters is the uncertainty of regulatory action regarding re-certification training requirements.
A draft final rule – proposed by the EPA and supported by your Home Builders Association – to remove the hands-on training requirement is pending review by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). When Criner met with OMB officials Jan. 11 in Washington, D.C., he urged them to expedite review and finalization of this common-sense improvement to the LRRP rule.
Without this regulatory action, the first wave of remodelers who received their initial certification on or before March 31, 2010, must renew their EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator certifications with in-person refresher training by March 31, 2016.
Your Home Builders Association will inform members immediately when the agency issues its final regulation on re-certification training.
If you were certified by March 31, 2010, or live in one of 14 delegated states that have their own unique set of rules, use and share this map to help you through the lead paint regulatory maze.