By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Kitchens and bathrooms remain the top jobs home owners are taking on in remodeling projects, according to a new survey by the National Association of Home Builders.

The top remodeling projects of home owners, according to the latest survey of remodelers, are:

1. Bathrooms

2. Kitchens

3. Window/door replacements

4. Whole house remodels

5. Room additions

6. Handyman services

The report’s finding of the main motivation behind home owners’ decision to remodel is not too surprising: To repair and replace old components and to upgrade amenities.

But more than 20 percent of remodelers surveyed said they’ve been noticing a drop in the number of customers who are remodeling to try to increase their home’s value.

The survey is yet another indication that more home owners are happy staying put–at least for now–and instead are looking at how to enhance what they already have.

Nearly half of the remodelers surveyed said they’ve been seeing an increase over the last year in the number of home owners who are undertaking remodeling projects so they can avoid moving.

“Home owners are repurposing spaces and making more efficient use of their home’s square footage,” says NAHB Remodelers Chairman George “Geep” Moore Jr. “Whether it be young families or couples aging in their homes, people want to let their house adapt with their needs as they change over time.”

According to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, home remodeling is expected to post its best year this year since 2006.

But while home owners want to enhance, they also want to save.

“Before it was curb appeal, showiness and keeping up with the Joneses,” Duo Dickinson, author of Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want (Taunton Press), told USA Today in a recent article on remodeling trends. But now more home owners want their homes to reflect who they are. “The house is the most direct mirror of your personal values. When people renovate to change their lives, they waste money.”

These more “me-centered” remodeling projects may include livening up outdoor spaces, creating “livable kitchens” that are multi-purpose and make the kitchen serve as a room for more than just cooking, and smaller master baths (like removing that luxurious spa tub for a larger shower)

Also in saving a buck, more home owners are looking at doing more of the work themselves. According to a new report from Bank of America, 70 percent of home owners are taking on home improvement projects that they once hired out in order to cut costs, tackling everything from plumbing to painting.

When planning your home remodeling project do you consider your lifestyle or the newest fad? Consider how long you intent to live in the home……casual, formal, traditional….what is your lifestyle? Your home is a reflection of you….creating a living space that is comfortable for your lifestyle is important. Utilize living space to fit your needs…. your home is your castle…. in my opinion….function, comfort and value are a few key elements to incorporate into your plans. Check out my new website

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