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Homeowners Remodeling for Style, Not Profit

Homeowners are cautiously optimistic about 2012 and 2013 and plan to boost their spending on home improvement projects . / Credit: Tools image via Shutterstock

Homeowners are more interested in pleasing themselves than in increasing the value of their homes when it comes to building, remodeling or decorating, a new survey shows. The good news for home remodeling and design professionals is that almost half of them will turn to pros for help with all or some of the work.

Among homeowners planning to build, remodel or decorate in the next two years, 86 percent cited "improving the look and feel of the space" as an important driver for projects, while only 47 percent cited "increasing home value," in a survey of 29,000 users of Houzz, a online platform for home remodeling. The gap between these priorities was consistent across all income levels and demographic groups.

Overall, 72 percent of homeowners surveyed plan to decorate or redecorate, 40 percent plan to remodel or construct an addition, while 10 percent are planning to build a custom home.

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Homeowners say they are more likely to cut back in other areas, such as vacations and other big-ticket purchases, than to delay or decrease the budget for their home improvement plans. 

Although even upscale homeowners are increasingly taking a hands-on approach to home projects, 45 percent of homeowners at upper income levels ($150,000 plus) still said they would hire an architect, interior designer, general contractor or another remodeling or decorating professional to complete a project. An equal number are combining professional help and DIY efforts.

About half of all homeowners— 52 percent — say they will save money by completing some projects themselves. The largest projects in terms of average spending in the last five years were custom home builds ($577,000), complete home remodels ($193,000), pool additions or replacements ($34,000) and kitchen remodels ($25,000).

"We expected that in this economy Americans' highest priority would be increasing home value, but instead we found people are focused on pleasing themselves, not the next owner," said Liza Hausman, vice president of marketing for Houzz. "Homes today are doing double or even triple duty as workplace, staycation, gym and more."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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