Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Poll: Homeowners looking to renovate, beautify landscape


A new poll indicates that a considerable number of homeowners are in the mood to renovate their properties, perhaps in an attempt to make them more user-friendly or aesthetically pleasing.

According to the survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the landscaping trade association PLANET, spending on renovation projects is expected to rise rather significantly in the coming year, with homeowners putting their attention on various aspects of beautifying their properties. For example, the poll found that on hardscapes - such as outdoor kitchens, patios, decks, water features and walkways - spending will increase by about $700 versus $600 in last year's poll.

Similarly, those who hire a professional to come in and take care of the renovation will rise as well, averaging about $2,300 versus $1,680 in 2012.

Sabeena Hickman, PLANET CEO, indicated that based on the results of the study, more people today are "getting away" by making their very own properties more enjoyable to live in.

"Consumers are deciding to increase their investment in projects that encourage 'staycations' and outdoor entertaining," said Hickman.

She added that those who will be refurbishing their properties will not only make their residences that much more attractive and pleasant to live in, but at the same time they're increasing the resale value of their home should they decide to place it on the market as for sale.

Though some have the skills and experience to do home renovation projects on their own, the poll found that a lot of people will hire a professional to get the work done or already have. For example, the survey revealed that more than one-third of respondents have hired out a professional to perform lawn, renovation and landscape services with Western residents being the most likely to have gotten in touch with a building professional.

NAHB: Take safety, cost considerations into advisement first before doing projects yourself
Meanwhile, others who have the background and experience to take on a home project will do so. However, before they go about it, it would behoove them to hire a home inspection professional so that the task is done with safety top of mind.

May is National Home Rebuilding Month, and to recognize the occasion, the National Association of Home Builders says that homeowners should be aware of the safety risks that accompany do-it-yourself projects.

Bill Shaw chairman of the remodeling division of NAHB, noted that even for professionals, renovation projects can be complicated and fraught with risk if safety precautions aren't taken. He further stated that because they can be more involved than one might have initially anticipated, they may want to consider hiring an expert.

"DIY projects should be rewarding and fun, but if your DIY can't be completed in the planned price range or your safety is at risk, leave the work in the hands of professional remodelers," said Shaw.

NAHB notes that, in general, there are three things that can complicate a renovation: hidden costs, safety risks that aren't fully addressed and time constraints. And all of them relate back to not fully appreciating the task in the early going. For instance, hidden costs can materialize when DIYers anticipate to spend only so much for a project, but quickly learn that the undertaking was more expensive after failing to account for improper installation or inaccurate measurements.

As for one's physical well-being, this can be compromised if DIYers aren't wearing safety equipment or use machinery that they're not familiar with.

Before deciding whether to do a renovation project on one's own or to hire a professional, a home inspection may help homeowners figure out the answer. The inspection process can clarify what type of work will be needed in order to safely makeover a property and whether doing so is risky for someone who's never performed a home improvement project on their own.