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More bathroom remodels as Americans stay longer in their homes

May 08, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • The master bathroom in the 16-bathroom home of professional baseball player Adrian Beltre and his wife, Sandra. Bathrooms are the most popular room to remodel at the moment.
The master bathroom in the 16-bathroom home of professional baseball player… (Chris Considine / Crispix )

More homeowners are fixing up their bathrooms – not because they want to increase the investment value of their properties, but because more people are staying in their homes for longer periods of time.

Hence the demand for repairs and replacements of old components and for upgraded amenities, which more than half of remodeling companies say are on the upswing.

More than three quarters of such businesses said bathroom jobs are now common – making the throne room the most prevalent place for a fixer-upper, according to the National Assn. of Home Builders. Nearly seven in ten remodelers say they’re often asked to do kitchen work as well.

Requests for both rooms are up 17% from 2010, according to the report. Window and door replacements are also popular, as are room additions and handyman services.

Nearly half of remodelers say that more homeowner clients are choosing to tweak their current home instead of moving elsewhere.

The National Assn. of the Remodeling Industry said as much in April, reporting that 26% of survey respondents are planning to stay an additional 16 to 20 years in their homes because their property values sank during the recession. Nearly a quarter of respondents said they’ll stick around for an extra six to ten years.

“Remodeling used to be about increasing resale value—making improvements that are appealing to the majority of buyers in order to boost the value of the home,” said Dean Herriges, president of the association, in a statement. “More and more people are throwing out the resale theory and making specialized improvements that suit their needs and their needs only.”

That means spas with exercise pools, caterer kitchens, art rooms, yoga studios, motorcycle garages, wine cellars and more, according to the group.


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