As I'm typing this the house next door is being completely renovated - actually they tore it down and are rebuilding - and the sound of nail guns popping away is constant. And there are three other renovations within a couple of blocks from us under way in the last couple of months. So at least in my neighborhood contractors are working, albeit not in the way it was during the hey days of refinancing.
I've written an article on renovating in a recession, which you'll be able to link to and read at the end of this blog, the theme being that more than ever homeowners need to protect themselves from ending up with an unethical contractor.
Just stating "renovating in a recession" sounds silly given the fact that recession denotes a lack of money, but there are going to be those folks who are beginning to remodel or rebuild their home out of necessity. Natural disasters such as wild fires and floods as well as those fortunate to be financially set to do so, but perhaps waited to see how the economy would play out. Either way, a heightened sense of being smart about doing all the important research, knowing what needs to be included in a contract and choosing a contractor wisely are even more critical during these challenging times.
I see articles that are geared towards encouraging homeowners to strike up deals with contractors whose businesses have been hit hard by the recession believing they are willing to cut their profits to get the job. The fact is that contractors can indeed pass on savings such as lower material costs but they have to pay themselves as well. Any contractor that promises thousands of dollars in cost reductions (this includes labor) isn't being truthful and that shouldn't be the basis for your choice in a contractor. Far from it. If you read through my site, you'll know what you need to look for and do and certainly in my Home Remodeling Bootcamp For Homeowners I stress these points in a lesson format that takes you through all the elements, but never is it about getting a great deal.
Unless you define a great deal as getting quality workmanship, having an ethical contractor who is transparent in his business practices and communicates with you on a regular basis, giving you an opportunity to ask questions and address concerns. That's what I call a great deal and something most people overlook or fail to understand, and that it doesn't come with every contractor out there.
I've written an article entitled "Renovating In A Recession: Why It Could Cost You More If You Don't Protect Yourself With These 7 Key Clauses In Your Contract".
I've taken some of the points I cover in my "Home Remodeling Bootcamp For Homeowners" and stress these in the article. You can read the article by clicking here: Renovating In A Recession.