In Recession, Homeowners Nail Contractors

As many vie for projects, consumer gains the upper hand
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 28, 2009 2:41 PM CDT
In the recession, remodeling's not the expensive ordeal it once was.   (Shutterstock)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Hiring a contractor to remodel a kitchen or resurface a floor once meant a lot of hassle and some serious cash. But the recession has changed all that: Contractors these days are ready and willing to work on the cheap, Time reports. Projects are smaller, and spending on remodeling is expected to keep falling through autumn, analysts say.

“We’ve had tons of companies begging to bid,” notes one condo resident. “Thanks to the economy, our bill will be about 30% less than we’d estimated.” Owner-occupied homes spent $139.1 billion on remodeling in 2007; last year that figure was $122.6 billion. “It’s pretty tough right now,” says one contractor. “I’m charging less than I did in 1978, which is about $30 per hour or less.”