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Remodeling Gets Popular As Housing Market Tightens

Posted November 2, 2007

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— The nationwide downturn in the housing market has created a popular new trend in the Triangle: remodeling.

Although new building permits are down by more than 10 percent in Wake County, permits for remodeling projects and additions have jumped by 24 percent over the past year. The county has processed more than 5,500 permits for renovations so far this year.

“It’s directly related to the economy,” said Larry Strickland, Raleigh’s inspections director.

Strickland said it is not unusual to see the number of permits for new buildings and renovations fluctuate, especially during uncertain market conditions.

“Instead of going out and purchasing new homes, they get a little bit conservative and say, ‘Let’s save a little money, spend some money on our existing home,” he said.

Steven and Noreen Berger said the renovation of their home in Raleigh has been a complete success.

“We took a 1960 typical rancher, and we transformed it into a 21st-century home,” Steve Berger said.

"Any of the get-togethers or parties we have, we’ve got people always saying, ‘Let us know when you’re selling your house.’”

But Steve Berger said the investment he and his wife made in their house has paid off so well that they are not thinking of selling anytime soon.

4 Comments

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  • Made In USA Nov 2, 2007

    Remodelling is a great investment, especially the kitchen and baths. And I can see the truth in this story too. I work at a cabinet company, and we are doing a lot of remodelling jobs.

    My advice if you are planning to remodel...don't use one contractor to oversee it all. Go to the stores that sell the items and have been in business the longest. You'll save a middle-man markup, and the job will be professional. Of coarse, this speciality shopping is not always possible if you have to tear down walls and such. But again, great referrals come from reliable speciality businesses. I know that for a fact.

  • Shug Nov 2, 2007

    I agree, Owlady. We did a remodel a couple of years ago. We called 10 contractors. Only 5 called back and met with us. 4 of those wanted money before they would even give us an estimate. Needless to say, we went with the last option, but I think they were way overpriced. Good luck out there, people. We won't be remodeling again for a long while.

  • owlady Nov 2, 2007

    Thats all well and good if you can find a reputable and available contractor to do the work on schedule and on budget. This article makes it sound so easy, but just a few weeks ago they had stories about remodel nightmares. Do your homework. -pun intended..

  • tbfromnc Nov 2, 2007

    I have been in the home design business for 40 years and in the last 2 or three years about 90% of my business has been either additions or remodeling of existing space. Most of my clients tell me they love thier neighborhood but just need to modernize thier house.