Confused about the housing market and what it means to your business? You’re not the only one! Interest rates are low, but so is inventory in the affordable housing sector. The numbers are up and down depending upon where you live and the housing category. According to the National Association of Realtors’ Index, May marks the 17th straight month of annual declines.  So, what does this mean for the remodeling industry? It’s hard to say. After home remodeling spending hit a record high of nearly $425 billion in 2017, annual gains are projected to slow in more than half of the nation’s largest housing markets in 2019, according to a report from the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

Annual Growth in Home Improvement Spending

Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

With supplies of timber, aluminum, and steel being impacted by existing tariffs, and a shortage of skilled laborers, the refinishing industry may have a unique opportunity to grab what would have been full remodeling jobs. Refinishers use existing materials and coatings to make dramatic improvements to bathrooms and kitchens. By educating homeowners about this option, the price tag of a bathroom remodel can drop from $8,000.00 - $12,000.00 to a mere $1,500.00. Homeowners don’t have to wait to make improvements until they are ready to put their house on the market (which is when most remodeling activity occurs). The homeowner can upgrade their space and enjoy it as they live there. The improvements made will still yield an increase in value over the expense.

refinishing vs replacing costs

With all this trepidation and confusion in the housing market, refinishers have an exciting opportunity to expand their skills and fill a labor market gap. Robert Dietz, the chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders, said in a recent interview that “Most individual remodelers will say they’re busy and schedules are full because they don’t have enough help.” Building additional refinishing skills of your own and with your staff could give you a leg up to expand work with both existing and new clients.

Many of NAPCO's long-time bathtub refinishing customers have signed on for the new kitchen refinishing training program. Once these refinishers learn the cabinet taping technique and the methods for applying the Kitchen Renew waterborne coatings, they have been able to deliver both bathroom and kitchen refinishing jobs successfully. The best part about expanding refinishing skills to include kitchens is the jump in job pricing. A kitchen refinishing job can be very profitable, and a great additional revenue stream for your business.

For more information on NAPCO’s kitchen refinishing training program and/or its kitchen and bathroom refinishing training program, visit our website.

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