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Echoes fuel remodeling resurgence


Echoes fuel remodeling resurgence

April 24, 2013

Remodelers, are you ready for more work? The Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) of Harvard University recently unveiled the report, “The U.S. Housing Stock: Ready for Renewal,” which maps out the key areas and demographics that will fuel your remodeling business for the next decade.

Published by the Remodeling Futures Program at the JCHS, the report offers in-depth analysis of key areas of reliable growth in the remodeling industry. Highlights include the rehabilitation of foreclosed properties, sustainable home improvements, aging-in-place retrofits, and the housing need that will be fueled by Echo Boomers, also referred to as the Millennial generation.

The emerging Echo Boomer generation, which is made up of the sons and daughters of Baby Boomers, is expected to be the largest in the history of the U.S. The Echo Boomers are predicted to outnumber Baby Boomers by more than 12 million as they enter their peak remodeling years over the next decade. Needless to say, as more households are formed and the national income increases, there will be a huge demand for homes.

One way to fill the impending housing need is the rehabilitation of distressed properties. The JCHS report found that in 2011 more than one million distressed properties were sold. The resulting rehabilitation of these homes totaled nearly $10 billion in home improvement spending. How many distressed properties remain on the market in 2013? According to the JCHS, as many as three million more foreclosures and short sales will need to be remodeled.

Meanwhile, energy-efficiency spending continued a meteoric rise even during the recession rising from 23 percent in 2007 to 33 percent of total market share by 2011. Of the remodeling projects completed in 2011, nearly 25 percent were done to increase energy efficiency.

Finally, aging-in-place retrofits also continue to garner increased market share. Just 10 years ago, homeowners over the age of 55 made up less than one-third of remodeling spending. By 2011, aging-in-place retrofits had increased to more than 45 percent.

I highly encourage you to read the JCHS report as there is much more critical market information available. The report can be found on our website at

On another note, I want to introduce the latest columnist to Professional Remodeler, Michael Gerber. Gerber started working with small business owners more than 40 years ago addressing a specific need in the small business market: businesses owned by people with technical skills but few business skills. His advice has helped thousands of business owners, including remodelers, transform their businesses into world-class operations. He is also the author of the best-selling book, “The E-Myth Revisited,” and 18 other small business books. Gerber’s first Professional Remodeler column can be found on page 14. Additionally, Gerber is one of the keynote speakers at Professional Remodeler and EBA PRIME’s Extreme Sales Summit, Sept. 25-26 at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare. For more information on the Extreme Sales Summit, visit PR


Written By

Tim Gregorski is the former editor-in-chief of Professional Remodeler. He joined PR in 2012 and was editor until late 2014. He has more than 15 years of B2B editorial experience in the highway and bridge, transportation management, water and wastewater, concrete construction, and AEC industries.

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