Remodeling In A Recession? It Makes Sense!


With the current economic downturn, many home owners are deciding to stay in their homes and remodel instead of trying to sell to purchase yet a larger home. Whether you’re trying to sell your home or staying put for a while, if you’ve been putting off a remodeling job, this just might be the right time to tackle that project.

If you could add greater value to your home at historically low prices for materials and labor, wouldn’t it make sense? Just as the cost of homes has dropped, so has the cost of building materials and contractors’ fees. Aside from paying less for materials, contractors may be more likely to charge less for their labor as well. And while it may be difficult to think about spending money on your home at this time, taking advantage of lower costs could be a great long-term investment. Also, since more people are staying in their current homes, they’ve switched their thinking from a way of adding value to their home, to a way of adding value to their lives.

Wise Investments

Whether or not adding long-term value to your home is your goal, there is always value to be added with kitchen and bathroom remodels. Rather than a breaking the bank on a grandiose kitchen or bathroom remodel, we’ve found that many homeowners are opting for more modest, practical and recession-proof improvements that help build a home’s long-term value, while still getting the beautifully updated home they’ve been wanting. So if you’re dying for that gorgeous new kitchen, rest assured that you can still get a beautiful upgrade that won’t require you to sell your first born to pay for the project.

For a cost-conscious remodel, maintain your kitchen’s footprint and keep the work to cosmetic changes. Keep the current cabinets you have and consider refacing them by replacing the doors and hardware. Replace old worn out sinks, faucets, lighting, flooring and counter tops for a fresh new look. These same techniques can be applied to bathrooms as well.

Energy savings:

Many home-improvement projects are benefited by energy savings, and even qualify for energy tax credits and rebates from local governmental bodies and utilities when you buy Energy Star qualified products. Consider the following to help with your energy savings while adding value to your home:

  • Replace those old windows and exterior doors with new energy-efficient windows and doors.

  • Upgrade to Energy Star appliances, such as ovens and stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, water heaters, furnaces, A/C units, washers and dryers to save on your energy bills.

  • Cut down on that water bill by swapping out those old toilets and faucets for new low-flow models.

  • Consider having your home’s insulation inspected and replaced or replenished if necessary for additional energy savings.

Do Your Homework

Many homeowners simply focus on the cost of a remodeling project without paying enough attention to what is really included in the final cost. Always find out, and have in a written contract, exactly what the details and scope of the work includes before hiring a contractor. Going with the lowest bid is not always the wisest choice. I can’t tell you how many homeowners we’ve met who hired a contractor who sold them on a really low bid, only to find out later that many items and improvements that they thought they were getting were not included in the final contract price.

Happy Remodeling!

Information provided by Dave Christensen, Co-Owner of Best Choice Home Improvements, Inc. of Redding, CA. For questions, please feel free to contact us at (530) 276-9261, email us at, or visit our website at

has Best Choice Home Improvements Inc. of Redding, CA. Contact: (530) 276-9261,, or
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3 Responses

  1. Avatar Robert Hovey says:

    This is a point I have been trying to get across for a long time. Not that the economic downturn has been around for years, but that the best time to get interior work done is in the mini economic downturn for contractors called Winter.

    Prices are really good right now, and will get better as Fall and Winter sets in.

  2. Avatar Heidi says:

    While many have talked about how important it is to get everyone spending in a down turned economy one thing that we're really not taking into account is how people are choosing to live during this time.

    Renovating someone's home with very simple techniques such as paint, molding and simply light changes can really make a huge improvement in ones day to day living and in turn how they view their life.

    One really great example is to add paint, molding and new handles to spruce up an old kitchen and save your money for new appliances. The best part is a small investment in your kitchen will make the idea of cooking in it much more enjoyable – and a whole lot more economical than eating out all of the time.


  3. Avatar Laura says:

    There's no doubt that homeowners have had to cut back in many ways, including the extent of their remodeling plans. Nevertheless, there is much that can modernize and enhance the look & feel of a home without having to do major remodeling or add square footage. Start with curb appeal, floors and paint, then move to kitchens and baths. New faucets, fixtures, and appliances can do wonders, too. Above all, homeowners must focus on cost-effective, high-value-added projects, and you shouldn't have to mortgage the house or break the bank. In fact, many remodeling contractors can be hired for as much as 25% off of prices charged a few years ago. I offer a lot more information on this timely topic on my blog: