More than 90 percent of door, window, siding and roofing professionals say they’re confident in their ability to get new business in the next six months, according to the latest HomeAdvisor Farnsworth Index, which measures the home improvement industry across 13 categories.

“Homeowners are opening their pocketbooks wider and commissioning bigger improvement projects as more than half (55.6 percent) of the businesses surveyed indicate that the average size of their projects has increased over the last 12 months,” said Brad Hunter, chief economist for HomeAdvisor. “We see a similar trend in HomeAdvisor’s internal data with an increased demand for discretionary improvement projects. Whereas four or five years ago, homeowners tended to do the bare minimum to keep their homes livable, deferring some of the less crucial projects, now they are feeling flush enough to indulge in some luxury.”

The online survey was conducted May 11-26. The sample for the study included 1,582 respondents across various construction and remodeling trades within the five industry segments (exterior, remodeling, mechanical, finishing and landscaping).

While 9 out of 10 respondents in the survey’s exterior group, which includes contractors who specialize in doors, windows, siding and roofing, expressed confidence that their revenues would increase over the next six months, the numbers were slightly less optimistic when they looked ahead 12 months. A total of 81.5 percent saw business improving over the next year, vs. 85.8 percent in the first quarter of 2017. (About 1.1 percent said they expect revenues to decrease, up from 0.5 in the first three months of the year.)

Additionally, 59 percent of those polled in the exterior group said their average revenue per project had gone up in the past 12 months.

Despite feeling confident about the state of their business, many home improvement professionals say it’s still hard to find skilled labor. For example, about 50 percent of exterior group respondents reported challenges hiring skilled laborers in the past 12 months, up slightly from the first quarter. However, they also expressed confidence in the ability to hire enough labor in the coming 12 months, with positive views on acquiring workers coming in at roughly 70 percent – the same level as in the year’s first three months.

“A national shortage of skilled labor is one of the few headwinds facing the home improvement industry,” Hunter said. “The home improvement industry is growing rapidly regardless, but it would be able to grow even faster if not for the labor shortage.”

Follow this link to download the full report.

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