LA CROSSE, WI-- - The storm clouds from the housing bust are starting to reveal a silver lining for remodelers: A Harvard University study predicts remodeling activity will grow quickly as Baby Boomers sell their homes and downsize -- which should create extensive remodeling opportunities for the next decade.

Although new construction suffered during the Great Recession, remodeling work held tight -- dropping from $326 billion in 2007 to $286 billion in 2009 before rebounding back to about $300 billion in 2010, according to Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The center singled out specialty contracting firms like Kitchen Solvers for their ability to withstand even the worst of the recession. Kitchen Solvers pioneered solid-wood kitchen cabinet refacing, which can transform the look of a kitchen without all of the mess and expense of a full remodel. It's part of a full range of services Kitchen Solvers offers.

"By offering quality refacing as well as full remodels, and by offering new cabinets at a variety of price points, we can deliver an outstanding kitchen to people regardless of budget," said company President and CEO Gerry Henley.

The Harvard center puts the current value of kitchen and bathroom remodeling at $75 billion a year, and its Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity projects remodeling spending to grow 5.9 percent in 2012 and 3.5 percent a year through 2015.

What's driving the projections? As people hit retirement age, they often downsize, selling homes they haven't upgraded in decades to younger buyers eager to remodel. The huge Baby Boom generation is just beginning to retire and unload houses in massive numbers -- and many of them need remodeling.

"There is a huge generational bulge of people who have owned their homes for decades," Henley said. "Some of them will remodel their homes to continue living in them long into retirement, but many more will sell to younger buyers eager to have a kitchen that suits their needs."

Kitchen Solvers has remodeled more than 45,000 kitchens since the company was founded in 1982. To learn more, visit or


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