Comparing last year’s second quarter to this one, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry’s most recent survey (answered by 263 NARI member respondents from June 20 to July 1) shows that about 21% felt that business was about the same; 8% felt it was much better; and 3% felt it was much worse (but fewer people said it was much worse than those responding to the March 2012 survey).

And, while respondents said the number of inquiries from prospects is still positive, the market and requests for bids is softening. Conversion of bids to jobs is pretty much the same as this time last year, as are the values of jobs.

NARI representatives remain upbeat: “We’ve wondered what the signs will look like when things do in fact start to point toward an actual recovery in our industry,” says Kevin Anundson, secretary of NARI national and owner of The OAR Group, in Elmgrove, Wis. “This survey is one element of what the recovery will look like. These positive results are the first stone of the foundation on which we will again build great things.”

Most respondents who had a positive outlook said that postponed projects, low interest rates, and better home prices were what brought on business. Those who see declines cite future uncertainty, unemployment, gas prices, and the difficulty of getting loans as issues. 

For a copy of the survey send a request to

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.