Markets & Economy

Most homeowners plan to start or continue renovations this year

Resale value, smart home integrations cited as reasons for upgrading

More than half -- 55 percent -- of homeowners plan to continue or start renovations this year, with 4 in 5 intent on hiring professional help. These findings bode well for residential contractors, architects and suppliers that are coming off a year where homeowners that renovated focused primarily on main home structure and outdoor space upgrades. Eighty percent of homeowners who renovated in 2014 made upgrades to the main home structure, while 62 percent improved their outdoor space or structures, according to a recent Houzz & Home survey. Not surprising, renovators in the Northeast and Midwest focused more on interior remodels, with Western- and Southern-located homeowners more active with outdoor upgrades. Kitchen and bath improvements topped the list of popular interior renovations for 2014. Major kitchen remodels, which at a minimum include replacing all kitchen cabinetry and appliances, run on average $29,400 for a smaller kitchen -- 200 square feet or less....