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Area Remodeling Association Reports Improved Activity Results for First Half of 2013

Aug. 20, 2013

Ron Sonntag Public Relations, Inc. (RSPR), a full service public relations and marketing agency, reports that a recently completed member survey conducted for the Milwaukee/NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) Home Improvement Council, Inc., shows a sales increase for more than 78 percent of the respondents for the first six months of 2013.

Of the 41 Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc. members that responded to RSPR’s “Industry Activity Questionnaire,” 66 percent were remodeling contractors, while 34 percent were wholesalers/suppliers, manufacturers, or lenders. The objective of the questionnaire, which RSPR distributed in July 2013, and tabulated in early August 2013, was to measure home improvement and remodeling trends and ascertain changes, if any, being experienced by Milwaukee/NARI members within the industry. Survey highlights include the following:

• In 2013, 78 percent of the respondents experienced an increase in sales in the first half of the year when compared to the same period in 2012, while five percent said sales were flat when compared to the first six months of 2012.

• 59 percent of the respondents said there was an increase in the average project cost completed for homeowners in 2013 when compared to 2012, and 29 percent said the project cost remained the same.

• 49 percent of the respondents said the average project cost completed in the first half of 2013 was between $10,000 - $100,000, while 39 percent said the average project cost was between $1,000 - $10,000.

• Contractors continue to list referrals (63 percent) and past customers (59 percent) most often as the reasons that contracts are signed.

• Of those that had an increase in sales in the first half of 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012, 46 percent sited improved economic conditions as one of the primary causes, while 29 percent said increased marketing was one of the primary causes.

• Of those that said sales were up in 2011, 50 percent specialize in interior remodeling projects, while 40 percent do a combination of interior and exterior projects.

• Sales volume for 51 percent of the respondents was over $500,000 in the first half of the year, while 22 percent had sales between $250,000 and $500,000, and 17 percent had sales between $100,000 and $250,000.

• Of those that experienced flat or a decline in sales, 33 percent specialize in interior remodeling, 22 percent specialize in exterior remodeling, and 45 percent do a combination of the two.

In its research, RSPR learned that Milwaukee/NARI members are seeing trends within the industry, including...

• use of more efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
• aging in place renovations.
• enhancing home automation.
• interior renovations, with a focus on the kitchen, bathrooms, and lower level.
• use of “green” materials.

According to Dan Riedel, WiSC, Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council president, “The improvement in the area’s economy has had a positive effect on consumers, as they are anxious to make improvements to their home and are turning to Milwaukee/NARI members to complete those projects. The type of work is getting larger in scope in some project categories, and it is apparent that there is a request for renovations and products that will positively influence a home’s energy efficiency and impact on the environment.”

“Next month’s Milwaukee/NARI Fall Home & Remodeling, Sept 20 – 22 at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park, will give homeowners the opportunity to meet more than 200 association members to learn how they can have home improvement and remodeling projects completed professionally, efficiently, and cost-effectively.”

The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, the area’s leading home improvement and remodeling industry resource for more than 52 years, was chartered in July, 1961 as a Chapter of the National Home Improvement Council. In May of 1982, the National Home Improvement Council merged with the National Remodelers Association to form NARI – the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. With over 740 members, the Milwaukee Chapter is the largest in the nation.

The Council’s goals of encouraging ethical conduct, sound business practices, and professionalism in the remodeling industry have led to the growth of the remodeling industry nationwide and made NARI a recognized authority in that industry.

Ron Sonntag Public Relations specializes in assisting small to midsized companies with their overall marketing and public relations' needs, including publicity campaigns, media exposure, new product introductions and product publicity, marketing plans, website development and Internet marketing, direct mail, newsletters, brochures, videotapes, advertising, trade shows, specialty items, and overall marketing guidance.

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