- Online home remodeling source Houzz released its first-quarter 2016 Renovation Barometer report, which found that confidence in the home remodeling industry is up, with readings of 70-78, which Houzz said is comparable to fourth-quarter figures of 72-76, but slightly lower than readings in the first quarter of 2015.
- Renovation firms, Houzz said, reported that they have experienced quarter-over-quarter growth in new business leads (73-79), amount of new projects (69-75) and the size of their new projects (62-70). All renovation players – general contractors, remodelers, renovation specialty firms and outdoor firms – reportedly expressed high expectations of second-quarter gains.
- As is the story in the rest of the construction industry, Houzz reported that renovation contractors and remodelers are encountering difficulties in staying staffed with the most in-demand trades. Forty-five percent of industry firms said that carpenters are in most demand, followed by framers (27%), tile specialists (22%), plumbers (19%) and drywall professionals (19%).
The Houzz Renovation Barometer is a survey of firms active in the renovation industry, and the higher the reading is over 50, the more firms there are reporting increases in business activity rather than decreases.
Houzz said that to meet labor shortages, contractors are offering on-the-job training (39%), using social media (21%), partnering with schools to offer training (8%), attending job fairs and other recruiting events (8%) and giving talks at local colleges (6%) and high schools (6%).
The Associated Builders and Contractors reported this month that its Construction Confidence Index (CCI) fell somewhat in the second half of 2015, partly due to concerns over industry labor shortages. The Associated General Contractors of America also warned that the continuing increases in demand for skilled tradesmen across the country will lead to more shortages. The association once again encouraged federal, state and local government officials to focus on construction education and training programs to bring more workers into the industry.