Angie's List: Record remodeling expected in 2017 - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Angie's List: Record remodeling expected in 2017

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(WKOW) -- A new Angie’s List survey and a national housing study indicate 2017 could be a record year for remodeling. If you’re going to be part of this trend, now is a good time for tips on how to hire the right contractor. Tonight’s Angie’s list report is all about avoiding a home improvement horror story.

Every year, Angie’s List asks its members what’s on their home improvement wish lists. Top of mind for the respondents are updates to bathrooms and kitchens, and creating new outdoor spaces.

“In our annual Angie’s List survey we found that people are just as excited this year about remodeling as they have been in the past. Seventy-two percent are going to spend as much or more to improve their homes this year," says Angie's List founder, Angie Hicks.

Before you rush to remodel, be aware that the home improvement and construction industry ranked second highest in consumer complaints according to 2016 nationwide survey of state and local consumer protection agencies.

“Home improvement horror stories are unfortunately a real thing. But you can find great contractors. You just need to be sure that you watch out for red flags such as prices that are too good to be true,” says Hicks.

About a third of the respondents say they’ll spend between five-thousand and 20-thousand dollars on their projects. Whether you spend less or more, Angie says research is the best way to make sure each of those dollars is well spent.

“If you’re going to tackle a remodeling project this year, the first thing you want to do is research your contractors. This is an important decision and you want to make a good one,” says Hicks.

You can start your research on-line but Hicks recommends you get at least three written estimates for your project so you can compare prices. Don’t discount the importance of being comfortable with the contractor you choose and make it a point to communicate early and often.

“My three best tips for hiring a home improvement contractor revolve around payment. Make sure your payments are staggered over the course of the project. Don’t pay 100 percent upfront. And always hold back 10 percent until the job’s completely done to your satisfaction,” says Hicks. 

The Angie’s List survey was taken in January and follows the annual Joint Center for Housing Studies Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity or LIRA report from last year. The LIRA report predicted renovation and repair spending for 2017 would hit $327 billion. That would be the highest spending annual spending on home services since 2006.

The Angie’s List survey included responses from 1,245 members across the country. It was conducted in January, 2017.

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