Browse releases

By date

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006

Media Resources


Release Date: 06/29/2009

Over Half of Homeowners Plan Remodel Projects This Year; 65% Will Do Some of the Work

Top 5 Remodeling Headaches and How to Avoid Them

CR August '09 Cover YONKERS, NY ― Consumer Reports latest poll on home remodeling reveals that over the next 12 months, 54 percent of homeowners are planning a remodeling project and nearly two-thirds (65%) plan to do at least some of the work themselves.  The most popular types of work include painting (56%), designing (39%) and flooring (34%).
The recent economic downturn has forced 67 percent of homeowners to rethink their plans, with the biggest changes including doing work themselves (42%), fixing or sprucing up what they already have (39%) and remodeling in phases (36%).  The biggest reason consumers are cutting back on remodeling is because they simply do not have the money (42%).
Funding for home remodeling stems from a variety of places, but two out of three (66%) homeowners support their projects with their savings.  Others plan to cut back on travel and entertainment (29%), while one out of five (21%) are using a home equity or other loan.
Ninety-one percent of homeowners have already gotten their hands dirty with either a repair or remodeling project.  But not all repairs or remodeling projects went smoothly for DIY respondents, with over one third (34%) having at least one regret stemming from trying to fix a broken appliance, installing tile, floors or cabinets.
“Whether homeowners are venturing into a project themselves or plan to hire a professional, you need to lay out a budget, decide what you want most at the end of the project—and decide what you can live without,” says Bob Markovich, senior home editor at Consumer Reports.  “The more homeowners know what they’re getting into, the more money they’ll save.”

Consumer Reports Readers Reveal Top 5 Remodeling Headaches

According to the poll, the most popular remodeling projects for homeowners are kitchens (19%) and bathrooms (17%). In another survey, Consumer Reports asked 6,000 readers to reveal what went wrong when they remodeled their kitchens and baths and how much those mistakes  added  to  the  overall
cost of their projects.  Here’s how to avoid their mistakes and save:

  1. Don’t rush in.  Changing plans is the most common, but costliest remodeling gaffe, adding $1,500 to kitchen projects and $650 to bath remodels. Be sure to leave time for research and create a comprehensive plan, listing every product.
  2. Prepare for the unexpected.  There’s a lot going on behind the walls. Unexpected water damage was an issue with 17 percent of bathroom remodels, while structural problems caused headaches for 10 percent of kitchen projects. A good contractor will be able to anticipate, allowing the homeowner to budget accordingly.
  3. Don’t chase the low ball.  Contractors are lowering their profit margins due to the tight market, but they often make up their costs in labor or other areas. Readers who went for the lowball ended up spending a median of $1,500 extra for labor on their kitchens and $1,000 extra on their bathrooms. Don’t sign a contract with a lot of open-ended amounts for products and materials – these are called “allowances,” in contractor speak.
  4. Get the paperwork in order.  Have the contractor attach copies of his up-to-date license, insurance, and workers’ compensation policies to the written contract. He should also get permits and provide a lien waiver when the job is done; this will keep suppliers from contacting the homeowner for unpaid bills.
  5. Focus on the boring bits.  Specifying lighting and placement of trash cans are not much fun, but are critical to the process. For example, the proper exhaust fan will prevent mildew in baths and vent odors in kitchens.

Consumer Reports Remodeling Poll Methodology
The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a telephone poll of a nationally representative probability sample of telephone households. 1,002 interviews were completed among adults aged 18+. Interviewing took place over April 16 – April 19, 2009. The margin of error is +/- 3.2% points at a 95% confidence level.

See press release archive

RSS News Feed

Get all the latest information from the CR Press Room delivered right to your desktop.