Basement remodeling project in your future?
As the housing market slumped, so did home improvement, and spending on that sector has been down since 2007. But ServiceMagic.com, which links homeowners with contractors, thinks things are turning around. Requests to the site for bids on home-improvement work are rising.
Nationwide, requests in the last three months of 2009 were up nearly 40 percent over a year earlier. But that wasn't evenly spread. Baltimore, for instance, saw a 2 percent uptick.
States with big increases -- Arizona, California, Florida and Illinois -- also have large numbers of foreclosures, and thus more properties in need of repair, ServiceMagic said.
In Baltimore, the category with the biggest year-over-year increase in requests was basement remodeling -- up about 80 percent. Roofing was a close second.
No. 8 on the list of biggest increases: pest control. Yergh.
On the flip side, ServiceMagic said Baltimore residents put in 35 percent fewer requests for new appliances, 34 percent fewer requests for garage or garage door projects and 26 percent fewer requests for siding.
All told, the biggest chunk of Baltimoreans' requests -- more than one in every four -- was for maintenance and repair. People trying to get homes in shape to sell? Or just doing necessary work? I don't know, but there is a specific "moving & real estate" category, and that's just 1 percent of the total.
Some of you shared your adventures in home improvement on this post. Anyone just getting started?