Survey: Homeowners satisfied with kitchen/bath remodels

SPECIAL TO CONTRACTOR LAS VEGAS More than 80% of homeowners who remodeled their kitchen or bathroom in the last 12 months say they are satisfied with the entire process including the installation according to a survey released May 11 here during the 2005 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show. "The Kitchen and Bath Consumer Speaks Out" report from the Home Improvement Research Institute and commissioned by the

SPECIAL TO CONTRACTOR

LAS VEGAS — More than 80% of homeowners who remodeled their kitchen or bathroom in the last 12 months say they are satisfied with the entire process — including the installation — according to a survey released May 11 here during the 2005 Kitchen/Bath Industry Show.

"The Kitchen and Bath Consumer Speaks Out" report from the Home Improvement Research Institute and commissioned by the National Kitchen & Bath Association found that less than 8% are somewhat or completely dissatisfied with the result and 14% reported feeling that way during the installation phase.

"Those of us in the business have long known that people love their new kitchens and bathrooms," NKBA President Jeffrey Cannata said. "NKBA kitchen-and-bath dealers derive an average of 80% of our annual revenue from repeat business and referrals."

Other findings from the report confirmed long-known facts about kitchen-and-bath-room remodeling, including women's roles in initiating the projects and the fact that baby boomers in their prime earnings years are doing the most spending on kitchen and bathroom remodeling. Women initiate 43% of kitchen remodels and 45% of bathroom jobs on their own, according to the survey.

"Interestingly, men are very involved in these decisions," said HIRI Managing Director Fred Miller, who pointed out that the male head of household initiates 36% of kitchen and 34% of bathroom remodels. The rest are initiated jointly.

Home centers are the stores where homeowners most frequently shop for products and actually purchase them, the survey states. About 90% of homeowners buy kitchenand-bath remodeling products at home centers. About half that many shop at hardware stores for kitchens and kitchen-and-bath showrooms for bathrooms.

"Warehouse home centers continue to grow in importance in this industry," Miller said.

Most homeowners hire a professional for a kitchen-orbath remodeling job because they want the job done right, the research shows. Other reasons are because the project is too big for homeowners to do on their own, they didn't have the time to do it themselves, they lacked the tools or equipment to it themselves or they thought the cost was affordable to hire a professional.

On the other hand, the biggest reason that homeowners say they do some or all their own remodeling work is to save money — about 75% of respondents in both cases. Other reasons consumers do it themselves are that they are comfortable or enjoy doing remodeling work, or they thought that they could get better quality while staying in their budget. About a quarter of respondents say they wanted to try it or learn a new skill. Less than 10% say they don't trust a professional.

Slightly more contractors are contacted for ideas and estimates for kitchen remodels than for bathroom jobs. Homeowners call an average of 2.6 professionals for kitchens and 1.9 for baths.

"People" are the most frequently used source of information in planning more than half of the kitchen or bath remodels, according to the survey. Other popular sources are in-store displays, books and magazines, Websites, and home-improvement TV shows and videos.

Other findings in the report include:

  • Higher-end kitchen remodels,costing $20,000 on average, are more likely to be professionally designed and/or installed and more than 80% include a new sink, faucet or disposer.
  • The average kitchen remodel lasts about 13 months from the time homeowners first think seriously about the project until it is completed. Higher-end kitchen remodels take an average of 20 months.
  • The average bathroom remodeling project includes faucets.
  • Higher-end bathroom remodels, costing $6,300 on average, most frequently include new faucets, flooring, showerheads and a toilet.
  • Whirlpools are purchased for 23% of higher-end bathroom remodels. About 70% of these bathroom remodels included the services of a designer or contractor.

The report's findings come from surveys completed during March. Interviews were completed with 400 homeowners, equally split between kitchen and bathroom remodelers. Homeowners were asked how much their project cost, and the top 25% were then identified "high end." Top spenders were identified as those who spent $ 9,000 or more on a kitchen remodel or $3,000 or more on bathroom remodeling.