A survey by Indianapolis-based Angie's List Inc. (Nasdaq: ANGI) suggests home improvement contractors are optimistic about 2015. More than 60 percent of respondents believe their customers are willing to spend more on projects than they were in 2014.

December 8, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — A new Angie's List survey of more than 1,000 service providers shows home improvement contractors are optimistic about business in the coming year.

“We asked contractors what their conversations with customers were showing, and 62 percent of them say their customers aren't just wanting to make improvements next year, they’re willing to spend more on them than customers spent in 2014,” said Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks.

“More than half of the contractors said customers were planning to add $5,000 to what the average project cost last year,” she added.

The online survey, conducted in November among highly rated companies specializing in home improvement, asked about remodeling trends for 2015, as well as whether homeowners’ budget expectations had changed.

The breakdown of how much customers are planning to spend on remodeling projects next year compared to what customers spent this year:

–17 percent to spend $15,000 more;

–9 percent to spend $10,000-$15,000 more;

–23 percent to spend $5,000-$10,000 more; and

–51 percent to spend $1,000-$5,000 more.

When it comes to the projects themselves, most are being planned involve kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and lighting. Customers are asking for bigger closets and pantries. When it comes to bathrooms, fiberglass around the tub and shower is out and tile is in.

“We'd been hearing occasionally that homeowners are getting tired of cleaning the fingerprints and smears off stainless steel appliances,” Hicks said. “The survey, however, showed 70 percent of contractors think the shiny stuff is still in – and several of them mentioned fingerprints are worse in lower quality products.”

Contractors told Angie's List the average bathroom remodel now means customized luxury, and homeowners are willing to pay more for it.

One contractor said his usual bathroom remodel project was in the $15,000 range for years. His average bathroom project is now starting at $20,000. Another contractor said it’s not unusual for homeowners to spend $50,000 on high-end facilities.

Well done bathroom and kitchen makeovers traditionally give homeowners the highest return on home improvement investments, often in the 80 percent range. But Hicks has some advice for anyone planning on a fast sale.

“Don’t go overboard and price yourself out of the neighborhood,” she warns. “You want to keep up with the Joneses, not wildly outpace them.”

Another interesting finding in additional commentary to the survey was high interest in wood flooring over other materials, and interest in higher grade and more efficient lighting systems.

Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between nearly 3 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly-rated service providers in 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of authentic reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

Source: Angie's List Inc.

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