Raleigh, N.C. — Vendors at the Spring Home, Hot Tub and Landscape Show Sunday said browsers seemed a bit more willing to open their wallets than in recent years, a fact reflected in the $75 million spent on remodeling in Wake County in the month of January.
The county issued almost 450 remodeling permits in January, at an average project price of $23,000. That is an increase of 43 percent from a year ago.
Jennifer and Joseph Smith surveyed the more than 300 vendors at the Home Show, looking to expand the outdoor living area at their Apex home.
When they bought the house in 2009, it seemed just right. Two and a half years later, their family has grown, along with their needs. They are strongly leaning toward remodeling.
"I would like to see an enclosed area, and then going out to an open deck of some sort," Joseph Smith said.
Organizers say the Smiths were among tens of thousands to pass through the Raleigh Convention Center for the show.
Vendors said they were very pleased with the turnout and with the mentality of the customer.
"It looks like people aren't afraid to spend money as much as they were a year ago," said Shannon Hartsoe, of Brytons Bath.
"There's a spirit of, 'Well, if I can't sell my home right now, I really want to make it what I want,'" she said.