Even home builders may decide that they would like to be involved in a different part of the construction process and work with homes after they have been occupied rather than before that happens. Not every builder can turn to remodeling, but for those who want to be remodelers, it can be quite rewarding as existing homes are modified for their owners to make them more comfortable for the people occupying them. There is tremendous market potential available.
Home building is cyclical, and while it is doing quite well now with demand and sales at record levels, there will come a time in a few years when new construction slows and people aren’t buying new homes as rapidly as they once were. Remodeling takes on a new importance for the general population, but it has constant appeal for those wanting to remain in their homes – those who have no interest in seeking a new or pre-owned home. People look to improve what they already have. They may want a new bedroom or bath. They may want a larger kitchen or family room. Maybe they need more storage. Perhaps they want to convert some exiting “bonus” or “flex” space in actual living areas.
Remodeling has many aspects to it, and it can run from being a handyman all the way to a custom home builder. It can involve changing out a few fixtures or replacing a door such a handyman might do, to tearing down or gutting an existing home and rebuilding it.
There’s always going to be a demand for remodeling because people are going to want to make modifications to their homes – and not everyone is capable of or even interested in making those changes themselves. As people get older, they don’t have the physical abilities to undertake making those changes themselves. Some people never felt comfortable or capable of doing them. Many people like the home they have – especially after a few modifications are completed – and they’re not interested in moving. The prospect of remaining where they are and aging in place is quite strong. Remodeling to make their homes better, safer, and more comfortable is desirable, but moving is not.
Some people are interested in remodeling their current homes to add value to them as they prepare to sell them. This was more prevalent than it is now due to people looking to benefit themselves from the changes they might make or have done to their homes. They aren’t interested so much in increasing the potential sales price (although this will happen anyway from the appeal of the improvements they are making), but they are interested in remaining in their homes long-term and aging in place. Some of them will need to address various physical limitations and restrictions while others are concerned with general aging, mobility, accessibility, and safety matters.
Also, people are having their Millennial adult children or their elderly parents move in with them – or both (the so-called “sandwich” family or household) so they need their homes modified or even desiring extra living space be created – especially bedroom and bathroom areas.
Some people are trying to sell their current home in order to buy another, and a home inspector has pointed out various deficiencies or inadequacies that they need to eliminate – or they want to modernize a kitchen or bath to make the home more salable.
Regardless of the reason people want to improve their current homes, a remodeling career (in its many forms) can be a very good business decision for anyone builder, but it takes a different focus and commitment than new construction.
Steve Hoffacker, CAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-Master Instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the “Aging & Accessibility” groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.