For the past three years, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry has conducted a member profile study. Last month, Professional Remodeler spent time with NARI’s Mary Harris, executive vice president; Susan Swartz, marketing and communications coordinator; and Nikki Golden, marketing and communications manager.
This snapshot of the NARI membership provides just one more revealing glimpse into the market trends and business conditions faced by today’s remodelers. The study, which took place in late 2013 and was presented to Professional Remodeler earlier this year shortly after Design & Construction Week 2014, netted a response rate of 19.5 percent—equal to 575 NARI members in the United States.
In my editorial last month (see “Can labor issues impede recovery?” March 2014), I noted the average age of the construction worker in 2012 was 41.4 years old based on Bureau of Labor statistics. The 2013 NARI member survey digs a little deeper to reveal that 74 percent of the employees in the remodeling industry are between the ages of 25 and 54, 30 percent of which are between the ages of 18 and 34.
Mean project size for NARI members rose in 2013 and averaged $51,550 in terms of dollars, compared with $42,985 in 2012 and $43,264 in 2011. In regard to the type of jobs (survey respondents could reply to more than one type of job), 55 percent of projects involved remodeling existing rooms; 21 percent indicated room additions; 20 percent included major replacements such as siding, roofing, or windows; and 48 percent indicated “other” projects, which include kitchens, baths, additions, exterior replacements, and basement remodels, for example. Only one area in the “other” category did not show growth in 2013 and that was interior specialties, according to NARI’s research.
Perhaps the most important take away from NARI’s survey is their members’ outlook for the next 12 months. Ninety-three percent indicated they expect their business to grow in the next year. Seventy-five percent expect their business to grow between 20 and 30 percent in 2014.
Despite the optimism, NARI members believe there could be potential roadblocks to growth in 2014. The leading concern is low-quality competition that undercuts prices (61 percent) followed by the lack of qualified employees (43 percent) and the ability to find customers (34 percent). Finally, 33 percent are concerned about the lack of people willing to learn the remodeling trade.
Despite the concerns about finding the next generation of employees, 65 percent of remodelers indicated they have been hiring employees to help meet the growing business conditions.
“All industry indicators, including NARI’s, show that the remodeling industry is going to grow this year, including job size in terms of dollars,” says Kevin Anundson, MCR, CKBR, NARI national president and vice president of Renovations Group Inc., Elm Grove, Wis. “This growth will prove to be attractive to a younger generation who may be looking to create a successful career in professional remodeling.”
This survey proves NARI remodelers are in the early stages of recovery. But much like an athlete coming back from injury, you don’t want to come back too fast, too soon. Control your growth in order to control your future. PR
For the past three years, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry has conducted a member profile study.