Brace for a remodeling revival in 2013. The Harvard Joint Center on Housing is predicting double-digit growth for home remodeling next year, citing stabilizing home values and continued low home financing costs as the magic factors.
Here’s what this means for dedicated do-it-yourselfers:
• If you have been postponing a major upgrade, your neighbors probably have not. In other words, the marketability of your house might be falling behind as others upgrade.
• The best contractors will be booked well in advance. Now is the time to finalize plans and lock in preferred contractors for spring 2013 projects.
• If saving money is a priority, consider putting up with a winter project, if it’s feasible. With demand rising, contractors won’t be in a negotiating frame of mind, especially during the spring and summer construction seasons. But you still might be able to get a decent off-season rate, if you can stand living amidst the mess.
• Order materials well in advance. Rent a space, if you must, to stow materials. That’s better than having the job stall, because cabinets, tile, or flooring is back-ordered.