Survey Finds Pent-Up Demand for Improvements

December 15, 2009
Markets

A new study from Pella Corp. suggests plenty of items in homes across the country are calling for urgent attention. According to a November survey conducted for Pella by Kelton Research, about two-thirds of homeowners in the U.S. have a major item in their home that needs some type of maintenance and the average person reports five major items that need to be repaired or replaced.

Whether it’s new carpet or flooring, a refreshed landscape or updating the kitchen counters or cabinets, change is in the air. A majority (61 percent) of American homeowners plan to make some type of improvement to increase the curb appeal of their home. Almost three in ten (27 percent) of those planning to make home improvements in 2010 intend on simultaneously enhancing the inside and outside of the home by installing new windows, the manufacturer reports.

The most common home improvement for 2010 may be installing new carpet or flooring (48 percent), followed closely by updating the exterior of the house with new paint or siding (43 percent).  The survey also found that homeowners in the Midwest (44 percent) and South (38 percent) are more likely than those in the Northeast (25 percent) and West (30 percent) to roll up their sleeves and do the improvements themselves.

Design Trends
"Right now there is a trend, and it may just be related to the current economic situation, to downsize a little bit, but increase the amenities in the home," says Elaine Sagers, Pella's vice president, marketing and customer support. "So while you might have a smaller footprint, the overall cost of the home is the same and additional design elements are put into it. So, you know, it’s the beautiful granite countertops and wonderful crown molding and wonderful walls and windows that flood the home with light. So those are the kinds of things that people are looking at doing to make the space more inviting as well as efficient."

According to Pella, color forecasters say the hot colors for 2010 include bright or warm yellows, lavenders—particularly for bedrooms, and slate or charcoal grays to replace tan and beige tones as popular neutrals. “While popular design trends like colors, patterns and fabrics may come and go, one thing remains constant in home decorating,” adds Sagers. “That is the desire to have a warm, inviting and comfortable home with plenty of natural light to create a better view. We are naturally drawn to sunlight and that’s an important element in any new home or home makeover.”