From Dan Harding on August 03, 2009 in Remodeling News
The construction industry is NOT dead!
Limping a little, perhaps, but not dead. According to Remodeling Magazine, the slack in the construction industry caused many job losses this year and last, but it seems to finally be slowing. In May 2009, nearly 60,000 construction jobs were lost. While this is an astounding number, its also promising, considering that it was double that just the month before. Many remodeling company owners report that they are seeing an increase in workload this year. However, they are doing much more to market themselves to their communities than ever before.
Photo Credit: Re-New Magazine
McAdams Builders, in Kirkland, Washington, for example, held an open house to invite the public into their new showrooms and offered an ice cream social as an incentive to check it out. The owner, Len McAdams, also noted that hes been writing a monthly article for a local newspaper to draw attention to his company.
Diane Menke, co-owner of Myers Constructs in Philadelphia, said that their business has been steadily on the rise as well, due mostly to the companys media blitz, which included getting on Twitter and actively networking.
Depending upon how you look at it, the downturn in the economy has been both a blessing and a curse for the remodeling industry. While remodeling companies have definitely suffered losses over the past two years, they are the first in the construction industry to start significantly picking up the pace again. Many homeowners are not able to afford new houses or to secure home loans, and so their natural inclination is to improve upon their existing home. Another feather in the cap of the remodeling industry has been President Obamas stimulus package, which has upped the ante on tax credits for adding more energy efficient features in the home. Caps were raised and new incentives brought in, making it easier and more affordable for homeowners to do things, like replace old windows, inefficient appliances and other major and minor renovations.
Photo Credit: Time for Remodeling
One major setback, however, has been the tighter lending restrictions, which are keeping people from being able to obtain loans for large remodeling projects. In fact, banking has been so strict lately, that many people are foregoing doing anything at all to their home for fear of foreclosure in the near future. Its hard to think about investing in a home that might get pulled out from under you in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, even though the economy is sluggish, people seem to have a much brighter outlook this year and are starting to loosen their purse strings just a bit, especially if they perceive that a good home remodeling project can help them save money on their tax returns and monthly energy bills.