Demand for additions and remodeling projects decreased in the third quarter, while demand increased for high-cost maintenance and repair services, according to a ServiceMagic survey. ServiceMagic’s Home Remodeling and Repair Index contains information compiled from 1.5 million service requests received through ServiceMagic’s online marketplace, which matches consumers with service professionals, from August to October 2010, as well as results from an October survey of homeowners and service professionals.

After a strong start in the first quarter, year-over-year growth in demand for additions and remodeling slowed and is down -18% nationally. Demand for kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling has fallen to -6% and -33%, respectively, in the third quarter. These drops are in contrast to the dramatic increase in ServiceMagic’s first-quarter results when kitchen remodeling service requests were up 191% and bathroom remodeling was up 30%.

“The past couple quarters we reported strong indications from homeowners about their pent-up demand for remodeling their homes, particularly for kitchen and bath remodeling,” said Craig Smith, CEO of ServiceMagic, in a press release. “It appears that this pent-up demand front-loaded the work into the first half of the year.”

That demand for high-cost maintenance and repair services is unfolding as year-over-year demand increased in the third quarter of 2010. According to ServiceMagic’s consumer sentiment survey, 46% of consumers have waited a year or longer to invest in necessary high-cost maintenance and repair services for their homes. Homeowners who have delayed large home-exterior projects are now investing in these key improvements out of necessity:

  • 30% increase in heating and furnace system service requests

  • 25% increase in window installation service requests

  • 12% increase in septic tanks and well service requests

  • 4% increase in roofing service requests

The survey also includes regional and city data on home project spending trends. Click here to see ServiceMagic’s surveys. —Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.

Hanley Wood, the company that publishes REMODELING, has a business relationship with ServiceMagic.