June 25, 2008 – As they grapple with skyrocketing energy costs, more homeowners are turning to remodelers for money-saving solutions. According to the results of the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) quarterly Remodeling Market Index (RMI), 33 percent of surveyed remodelers report that they are increasingly called on to improve the energy efficiency of their client’s homes.
The RMI measures remodeler perceptions of market demand for current and future residential remodeling projects.
“It’s no surprise with rising energy prices and other costs draining the piggy bank that homeowners want to maximize home performance with green remodeling options,” said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Lonny Rutherford, CGR, CAPS, CGP, a professional remodeler from Farmington, N. M. “Professional remodelers provide the solution for making the 125 million existing single-family homes in the United States more energy-efficient.”
The growing homeowner interest in green remodeling comes just as NAHB prepares for the upcoming National Green Building Standard,™ which includes the only consensus rating system for remodeling. This standard provides a roadmap for green remodeling and assures consumers that remodelers know how to plan and complete authentically green remodels.
According to the survey, remodelers have installed a number of efficiency-enhancing products in recent months, including:
– Windows—73 percent of surveyed remodelers installed more energy-efficient windows that are insulated to prevent outdoor heat exchange.
– Insulation—65 percent made upgrades such as insulation replacement and spraying foam or fiber insulation into enclosed walls and roof cavities, while 27 percent insulated foundations and 52 percent installed insulated exterior doors.
– High-efficiency HVAC systems (56 percent)
– High-efficiency kitchen appliances (47 percent)
– Water-saving faucets and fixtures (46 percent)
“Newer technologies are also quickly gaining in popularity,” says Rutherford. “Thirty-five percent of remodelers reported installing tankless water heaters, which save on energy costs by heating water on demand instead of continuously eating energy.”
ABOUT THE RMI: The RMI is based on a quarterly survey of professional remodelers, whose answers to a series of questions were assigned numerical values to calculate two separate indexes. The first index gauges current market conditions and is based on remodelers’ reports of major and minor additions and alterations, plus maintenance work and repairs, on both owner- and renter-occupied dwellings. The second index gauges expectations for the near future and is based on remodelers’ reports of their calls for bids, amount of work committed for the next three months, job backlogs and appointments for proposals. A variety of “special questions” are also asked at the end of the survey to help pinpoint market trends.
ABOUT NAHB REMODELERS: NAHB Remodelers is America’s home for professional remodelers, representing the 14,000 remodeling industry members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Founded in 1982, the organization provides information, education and designation programs to improve the business and construction expertise of its members and to enhance the professional image of the industry. Its membership incorporates 150 local councils in 49 states. Learn more about remodeling at www.nahb.org/remodel.