Remodeling Business Slowing?

The “When the home-sales market is hot, the remodeling business usually is, too. But home sales began slowing last fall, and a downturn is starting to show up in the renovation sector, say local contractors.”

Business is still good, just not as good as last year, said Rick Fooy, owner of Silver Fern Construction & Remodeling in Stockton.

The local remodeling business roared in the previous five years along with the existing and new-home market, Fooy said, but this year, work has slowed to perhaps 80 percent of last year's pace.

‘”I think people are a little unsure of finances,’ said Rick. ‘It’s all about money.’”

Daniel Maloy, of HandyDan Construction in Stockton, said there's still a lot of work out there, but he has noted that a lot of customers are concerned about the scope of remodeling projects and pushing their lines of credit.

"Everybody's needing stuff done," he said. "They're just more concerned about what they want to spend."

Plus, with home prices flattening or even sinking in a slow housing market, there’s more concern about whether the cost of a remodeling will be recovered when the house is sold later, he said.

“Julie Anderson said she also has been getting calls from real estate agents looking to fix a house up for sale. During the housing boom, sellers could often sell ‘as is.’ Real estate agents and brokers now say that increasing competition is forcing sellers to get their properties into top shape if they wish to sell.”

“Fooy said he hasn’t found that most people are downsizing jobs, there are just fewer customers. ‘There were just so many people borrowing money,’ he said. ‘Everybody was in a big flurry to do it.’”