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New Study Reveals Home Renovation Firms’ Backlogs

Sep 26, 2017 3:58:50 AM


Home renovation professionals are busy right now. That’s great news for the remodeling industry but means that homeowners need to plan ahead. Homeowners can anticipate wait times averaging 4.3 to 7.4 weeks before a pro can take on their project, the Houzz research team finds. Design-build firms have the longest backlogs, at an average of 7.4 weeks. General contractors and remodelers are not far behind, with an average seven-week wait time.



Backlog 1: Bespoke Fine Interiors, original photo on Houzz 

“Backlog” refers to the delay or wait time an average firm faces before starting a new midsize project due to its current project commitments.

The numbers come from the Houzz Renovation Barometer Backlog Index, a new study introduced July 17. Read on for more insights about backlogs among renovation firms — including in many major cities across the U.S.



Backlog 2: Kitchens and Baths, original photo on Houzz


Busy with kitchens and baths. Nearly half (49%) of general contractors, remodelers and design-build companies on net report an increase in kitchen or bathroom renovations for the first half of 2017, compared with the same period a year ago.

“On net” means that the percentage of firms reporting increases minus the percentage of firms reporting decreases equals 49 percent. For example, if 54 percent of firms report increases and 5 percent of firms report decreases, that means 49 percent report an increase on net.

Many homeowners are tackling multiple remodeling projects simultaneously, the firms report. With large-scale renovations (kitchens, bathrooms and multiple projects) on the rise, it’s no wonder many of these firms are experiencing project backlogs.



Backlog 3: Renovation Sector, original photo on Houzz


 Backlogs vary by renovation sector. While general contractors/remodelers and design-build companies report the longest delays before they can take on a new job, architects also have lengthy backlogs, averaging 5.9 weeks, as do landscape and outdoor specialty firms, at 5.6 weeks on average. Landscape and outdoor specialty firms include landscape architects, designers and contractors; outdoor replacement trades such as pavers; and outdoor product installers, manufacturers and resellers of items such as pools and spas.

Building and renovation specialty firms include replacement contractors (for example, carpenters) and product installers, manufacturers and resellers (of cabinetry, for example).



Backlog 4: Regional Average, original photo on Houzz


Waits are longest in the West. Firms in the West have the longest backlog, according to the Houzz Renovation Barometer Backlog Index. Design-build companies in the western United States report the biggest backlog among all the industry groups in the nation, an average of 8.3 weeks.



Backlog 5: Top 20 Metro Areas, original photo on Houzz


Where does your city stack up? Wait times to hire a professional vary greatly by location. Right now general contractors and remodelers and design-build firms are most backed up in the Boston metro area, at 13.9 weeks, with greater Seattle and Portland, Oregon, not far behind. Wait times for these renovation professionals are shortest in the Houston area, averaging 2.9 weeks.


Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish. 

By Erin Carlyle, Houzz

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