Des Plaines, IL—Long gone are the days of homeowners putting in new finishes and appliances in their home and calling it a successful remodel. A new consumer poll from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) revealed 49 percent of homeowners consider outcome and design as the greatest determinant of project satisfaction.

“Today’s homeowners are smarter and more strategic when it comes to remodeling their homes,” says NARI National President-Elect Michael Hydeck, MCR, CKBR, of Hydeck Design Build, Inc. “They want their design to cater perfectly to their lifestyles and how they intend to use the space.”

Good design means more than customization of the home. Design work can bring multi-functional capabilities to a room, for example a kitchen that also serves as the living room. Or, it can enhance the flow of the space by widening walkways and adding more access to the space from various parts of the home.

“Once my clients start to sense the magnitude of possibilities within a remodeling project, they start to get very specific about the design and how it’s going to impact their space,” Hydeck says.

Many remodelers put clients through special exercises to get them to think about their lifestyles. “It’s my job to ask clients detailed questions about how they live and the things that are most important to them in order to create a perfect space,” Hydeck says. Whether it’s a questionnaire or a walk-through of the current home, the main goal is that the remodeler knows what is desired.

The unstable economy may have a slight relation to the recent findings. A more practical attitude toward spending in the last few years has amplified the homeowner’s involvement in each step of the remodeling process. That way, no leaf goes unturned.

“To be successful as a remodeler today, you must have full transparency with your clients,” Hydeck says. “That usually means open communication lines and joint decision making in every aspect of the job—budget, design, material selection, timeline and management.”

This also reflects the long-term perspective most people have when it comes to their homes. “My clients remodel their home for the rest of their lives, they don’t think of remodeling as a short-term investment,” Hydeck says.

The breakdown of the poll results showed that 22 percent considered having their needs met as satisfactory and 20 percent noted accessibility and timeliness of the remodeler during the project as influential. Surprisingly, finishing on time and safety precautions and cleanliness of the remodel were much less significant with 4% and 6% respectively.

For homeowners who are considering a remodel, Hydeck has a bit of advice. “Make a note of everything you do in your home and how you access it over the course of a few days,” he says. “What paths you take, which counters you set items on, where you store belongings, and where you sit and relax—those are the things that are going to determine your remodeling outcome.”

NARI can connect you with remodel-ready contractors who will take care of the entire remodeling process from design to adding the finishing touches.
About NARI: The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the only trade association dedicated solely to the remodeling industry. The Association which represents more than 8,200 member companies nationwide—comprised of 63,000 remodeling contractors— is “The Voice of the Remodeling Industry.

SOURCE: National Assn. of the Remodeling Industry

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