The sunny optimism for 2016 that remodelers showed last spring has turned cloudier and will remain that way through 2017, a survey of several hundred remodelers shows.

The spring and fall polls were conducted by The Farnsworth Group and reported Oct. 25 during the semiannual Remodeling Futures Conference at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Here's a graphic look at the responses from roughly 370 remodelers last spring and 204 of the same remodelers this fall when asked to predict the growth in their company's revenue:

Chart showing remodelers' revenue forecasts for 2016 and 2017
Source: The Farnsworth Group via JCHS

... And here's how the numbers look in tabular format.

2016 (Spring) 2016 (Fall) 2017 forecast
Increase 10% or + 42% 18% 20%
Increase 5% to 10% 24% 29% 42%
About the same (+/- 5%) 30% 33% 28%
Decline > 5% 4% 9% 9%

Kermit Baker, head of the JCHS Remodeling Futures group, suggested to conference attendees that the change indicated that remodelers were getting less optimistic about business. That's backed up in part by this year's Remodeling 550, which found that replacement contractors expected their sales will rise 27.2% this year from 2015, while full-service firms predicted only a 4.9% gain, and insurance restoration companies a 2.5%. Remodelers polled by The Farnsworth Group tended to be mid-sized, full-service firms, Baker said.

At the same time, the lowering of expectations might also reflect challenges remodelers face in forecasting revenues. A study by REMODELING of firms that have reported their revenues year over year show that collectively, they are pretty accurate, but individually, they can go wildly off target.