As we close out 2022, we’re ending a year that has seen some of the highest housing prices on record. And, while the market has hit new highs, it’s likely that these will be surmounted as rates are expected to continue to rise moving into 2023. While these conditions are enticing for homeowners looking to profit from a residential sale, it presents unique challenges to the professionals that homeowners turn to when preparing for that sale.
According to the 2022 Annual Pro Shopper survey by the Cleveland Research Company,1 of over 600 pro respondents, 85 percent identify homeowners as the majority of their clients, with remodeling, retrofitting and repairs making up 40 percent of their project work for residential owners. When cross-referencing the average age for homes in the U.S. (44 years old), these statistics pair together to tell a strong story about the current and future state of demand for pro work. They also are tell-tale of the costs incurred as part of this work and the constraints this may place on the pro.
Take, for example, a recent client of mine who was preparing to sell an elderly relative’s home. This relative had lived in the home since the ’70s, and the house had not changed one iota since then. Naturally, the house needed extensive work – from structural upgrades to cosmetics – to modernize the space and make it more appealing for sale. As a majority of homes in the U.S. fall into this age range,2 this is a likely tale for many.
As a home ages, wear and tear are fast followers, as it quickly becoming outdated as interior design trends change over time. Close attention must be paid to the “bones” of the home as well as its veneer, which can pack a one-two punch to a pro’s budget. Pros are also navigating inflation, which, according to Associated Builders and Contractors,3 has nearly tripled on building materials in the last year. This leaves professionals and contractors facing tough decisions; to cut into their bottom line or turn to alternative materials and staffing solutions to save money. However, there are a few budget-friendly tips and tricks that can help with common upgrades to older homes that can address these concerns. Below, you can find three tips that residential contract pros can use this selling season to help get homes ready for showing.
Tip 1: Make interior and exterior repairs with a strong construction adhesive
Ease of use and cost efficiency are two reasons why a pro should consider a construction adhesive in their next project. These adhesives are an easy-to-use and relatively inexpensive tool that also offer instant results. Thanks to adhesives with strong initial grab and long-term strength formulas, construction adhesives begin working right away, saving time and money. It’s important for pros to check their adhesive for grab strength and also for use (e.g. indoor only, indoor and outdoor, etc.). Pros can use construction adhesives on a variety of projects, including to secure loose tile, paneling or floorboards. For outside, adhesives can be used for a variety of applications on porches, patios and sheds. If sellers are looking for quick projects that can increase the value of their home, pros can use construction adhesives to install new interior trim or molding to bring a home up to date with the latest interior design trends.
Tip 2: Use a texture system to update walls and ceiling with decorative finishes
For many years, the tools and products that Pros used to complete their jobs didn’t change much. However, recently, many new products and tools have hit the market all at once. It can be overwhelming trying to upgrade to new tools and products, especially when older, basic tools have been working well; yet some new tools and products can save a lot of time. In fact, they can save so much time that it can result in paying less for labor costs because with the new tools, projects are getting done faster.
For example, adding or matching textures on walls is a common need in older houses. Additionally, removing popcorn ceilings and replacing them with a modern texture can make a home more appealing to potential buyers. Traditional hopper guns that have been used for years spill easily and are difficult to aim at ceilings. Historically, hopper guns have been used to add texture to a wall, which requires significant time and effort. Multiple people are needed to set up a hopper gun. They also require the users to manually mix each batch of texture, which requires mixing tools. Additionally, traditional hopper guns require workers to either store or properly dispose of surplus texture materials, which incurs additional time and monetary cost. Having to complete all these steps to set up a hopper gun can cost pros time and money. Further, hopper guns can weigh more than 25 pounds when full and can easily spill because of how tall and unbalanced they are.
There are new products on the market that can offer a more time-efficient solution than a traditional hopper gun. For example, the Homax TexPro Texture System4 utilizes ready-to-use texture cartridges that do not require users to manually mix each batch of texture. This new system requires no set-up time other than hooking the sprayer up to an air compressor and loading the ready-to-use cartridge. It’s also easy to use, lightweight and spill-proof. Additionally, used texture can be saved and applied on the next job. Finally, if pros are looking to add texture to replace popcorn ceilings, a texture system can spray in any direction, making it an easier way to add texture.
Tip 3: Use professional grade paint to make an old house feel like new again
Interior design trends change quite often, including the colors that homeowners decide to use on their walls and ceilings. Adding a fresh coat of paint can make any living space feel like new again and is a cost-effective way to make sure a seller’s home is up to date and ready to be put on the market. However, not all paint is first-rate. Pros can utilize paint products with exceptional hide and durability rather than low grade, flat paint products. Professional grade paint provides more coverage and more savings for contractors. They’re fast-drying, durable and some are even resistant to scuffs and abrasions. With a professional grade paint, you don’t have to worry about the product’s performance after application. Whether they are planning to repaint the entire house before it’s put on the market or just add an accent wall to add a design detail to a home, professional grade paint products are the best option.
With many homeowners preparing to sell their homes, professionals will be vital to make needed changes and upgrades to get homes ready to sell. As construction costs continue increasing, I have found that upgrading to new tools, especially a new texture sprayer, has saved hours of work, which both frees up my time and saves money I would have spent on labor costs. Construction professionals should take advantage of tools that will save time and money when working on upgrading homes to sell and reap the benefits that reliable and time-saving construction tools offer.
1 Cleveland Research Company Annual Pro Shopper Survey, 2022
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