Homeowners' Remodeling Budgets Are Smaller This Winter, Survey Says

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By Cynthia Nowak

Despite the busy holiday season, homeowners still are thinking of ways to squeeze in a home improvement project this winter, especially one that won't break the bank. According to the Zillow Digs "Winter Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey," 40 percent of homeowners plan to make a home improvement or addition this winter, compared with 52 percent during the fall and 60 percent in the summer. But they plan to spend significantly less compared with previous seasons. While the percentage of home improvements fell for nearly every space in the survey, the majority of homeowners planning improvements will continue to focus on the kitchen and dining rooms during the winter at the same level as the fall (14 percent and 7 percent, respectively).

Homeowners plan to spend less: Homeowners may be too busy with holiday spending on gifts or holiday parties to undertake large projects this winter. While they expect to spend a median of $1,000, which is similar to the fall, the overall spending level is trending down significantly. Among those planning home improvements, the highest responses this winter expect to spend up to $450, compared to more than $4,501 in the fall.

Top reasons: While repairs top the list of reasons for home improvements, 29 percent of homeowners are choosing to remodel to modernize their homes for comfort and functionality this season. Another 21 percent are looking to remodel to increase the value of their home.

Finding inspiration: According to the survey, nearly 40 percent of homeowners find inspiration online, and 7 percent from Zillow Digs. (With Zillow Digs, homeowners can find visual inspiration and understand the real cost of remodeling projects. To find ideas for your next remodel check out Zillow Digs here.)

Methodology:The Winter Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey is based on an Ipsos poll conducted Nov. 7-8, 2013. For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 1,376 homeowners were interviewed via Ipsos' U.S. online omnibus. A sample of this size has a margin of error of +/-2.6 percentage points. Data has been weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Past Surveys:
Fall 2013 Zillow Digs Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey Results
Summer 2013 Zillow Digs Home Improvement Trend and Spending Survey Results

More Winter and 2014 Trends:
Decorating for Winter, Not Just the Holidays
2014 Kitchen Trend: Dramatic Black Counters
2014 Kitchen Trends: Open Shelving & Glass-Front Cabinets