It’s no big surprise that Remodel­’s September Remodeling Sentiment Report survey of 5,000 home­owners shows a big jump in the number of people who say that the economy is affecting their remodeling plans. “I think it’s temporary, but I can’t predict the future,” says Dan Fritschen, founder of “People will sit on the fence until things settle down in the economy.”

The RemodelorMove website helps homeowners weigh the costs of remodeling against the costs to move. Every six months the organization takes a representative sample of 5,000 valid responses to create its Sentiment Report (which can be purchased from the site).

When a homeowner’s goal is to “create their dream home,” Fritschen has observed, “they’re more likely to be satisfied if they remodel their existing home or build a custom home than if they buy a new build.” The current report shows that the goal of 19% of respondents is to create their dream home.

And there is some good news: When asked directly whether they would hire a general contractor or an architect for a remodel, 67% and 48%of survey respondents, respectively, answered yes. Projects that homeowners are planning to move forward on include: remodeling a bathroom (47%), adding a bathroom (51%), and remodeling a kitchen (48%).

However, according to the survey, over the past year, kitchen projects have actually declined in popularity. “Updating an existing room can be put off because it is often seen as a ‘luxury,’” Fritschen points out. “For many ... the addition of a bathroom is a necessity due to changes in the needs of the family.”

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.