Local Remodeling Association Reports 2011 Activity Results

March 8, 2012

Ron Sonntag Public Relations, Inc. (RSPR), a full service public relations and marketing agency, reports that a recently completed survey conducted for the Milwaukee/NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) Home Improvement Council, Inc. shows nearly 63 percent of the respondents achieved increased sales or held steady in 2011 when compared to the previous year.

Of the 51 Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc. members that responded to RSPR’s “Industry Activity Questionnaire,” 73 percent were contractors, while 27 percent were either wholesalers/suppliers, manufacturers, or designers. The objective of the questionnaire, which RSPR distributed in January 2012, and tabulated in February 2012, 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 2011, 41 percent of the respondents experienced an increase in sales for the year when compared to the same period in 2010, while 22 percent said sales were flat when compared to the previous year.

• Of those that said sales were up in 2011, 52 percent specialize in interior remodeling projects, while 29 percent focus on exterior remodeling and 19 percent do a combination of the two.

• Of the companies that experienced flat sales in 2010 when compared to the previous year, 25 percent specialize in interior remodeling, while 33 percent specialize in exterior remodeling, and 42 percent do a combination of interior and exterior work.

• 45 percent of the respondents said there was an increase in the average project cost completed for homeowners in 2011 when compared to 2010, while 37 percent said the project cost remained the same.

• 51 percent of the respondents said the average project cost completed in 2011 was between $1,000 - $10,000, 16 percent said the cost was between $10,000 - $20,000, and 18 percent said it was between $20,000 - $50,000.

• Sales volume for 29 percent of the respondents was over $3 million, while 22 percent had sales between $1 million and $3 million, 20 percent had sales between $500,000 and $1 million, and 20 percent had sales between $100,000 and $500,000.

• Contractors continue to generate business in a variety of ways, with referrals and past customers (61 percent) given most often as the reasons that contracts are signed. In addition, 39 percent of the respondents indicated an increase in marketing and participation in Milwaukee/NARI consumer shows positively impacted their business in 2011.

• Of those that had decreased sales in 2011 when compared to 2010, 89 percent said economic conditions were either the primary or secondary causes. Of those that experienced a decline in sales, 63 percent specialize in interior remodeling.

In its research, RSPR learned that Milwaukee/NARI members are seeing a variety of industry trends, including...

• continued emphasis on energy efficient products, including water conservation products and foam insulation.
• removing bathtubs to in favor of stand up showers.
• consumers looking to repair rather than replace.
• increased renovation to kitchens and bathrooms.
• homeowners staying in a home rather than moving and completing maintenance projects.

According to Dave Amoroso, Milwaukee/NARI president, “We are continuing to see positive reactions by consumers to the home improvement and remodeling industry as economic conditions have started to improve. The recent Home Improvement Show was well attended, and homeowners were actively consulting with association members on project pricing and then signing contracts to have work completed. The majority of Milwaukee/NARI members have seen growth or held steady, providing an assortment of products and services to southeastern Wisconsin homeowners. Area homes will always require maintenance and repairs, and association members are well qualified to carry out the required work. As homeowners continue to feel more confident in the economy, Milwaukee/NARI contractors are able to help them make their homes into what they desire.”

The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council 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 800 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, Web site development and Internet marketing, direct mail, newsletters, brochures, videotapes, advertising, trade shows, specialty items, and overall marketing guidance.

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