A Year In Review: 2016 Industry Trends

Year In Review

It’s been a year of many ups and downs within various remodeling trades. You may have seen this within your own work, too. Now is a good time to look back at the last year to better plan, as many of this year’s trends are a good indicator of what’s to come in 2017.

As you start to look back at how the year has been with your business, it’s a good idea to observe what the year has brought for the remodeling industry. To help you, we’ve recapped some of the biggest trends we saw in 2016 and a few predictions for 2017.

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Remodeling & Renovation

When the year began, the outlook was optimistic for the construction industry. John Burns Real Estate Consulting predicted an 8% increase in 2016 for pros and data showed a gradual increase of work due to the rising housing market.

Overall, there was an increase in remodeling activity for the year. Through our own network, we saw a 2% increase in service requests of homeowners ready to hire for a major remodel or renovation compared to 2015.

An increase in sales of existing homes has contributed to the slight increase in the remodeling industry, as many homeowners look to make updates or expand before selling. The Wells Fargo Economics team reported a 4.4% rise in existing home sales from 2015, and predict a 2.6% rise in existing home sales in 2017. Which, means that those in the remodeling industry will continue to be busy. According to our data, entire home updates have declined to just single room updates. To see where you’ll be finding more work, here’s a few more specific trends from this year.

Bathroom Trends


An area that homeowners are often looking to update and remodel is the bathroom. Many require an update to fixtures, flooring or they plan to expand. Per our data, we saw a 3% rise in service requests for homeowners who we’re ready to hire for their bathroom remodel in 2016, with many requests for countertop and flooring updates.


The kitchen is the heart of the home. For a homeowner who is trying to sell, the size, shape and amenities of the kitchen can either make or break a sale. There was a 5% rise in homeowners ready to hire for their kitchen remodel this year, compared to 2015. Many homeowners were looking to update sinks and install cabinets, however, updates to overall appliances has declined

Basement Trends


Unlike kitchen and bathrooms, basements have a different ROI for homeowners. There was no change in growth in basement remodeling from 2015 to 2016. Often, homeowners would like to see a basement remodel done alongside another remodel of their home, per our data.


Trends in garage remodeling have not changed too much within the last few years. We saw a 2% rise from 2015 in both an update to garage electrical fixtures and garage flooring. Homeowners looking to add storage and shelving to their garage rose by 5% from 2015.


As we reported earlier in the year, homeowners are looking to extend the usable square footage on their homes with decks. This is a trend that’s likely to carry on into 2017. To see more about this, read Decking Industry Trends.

2017 Forecast

Looking Ahead To 2017

Now that we’ve observed some of the trends from 2016, we can get a better picture of what 2016 might look like for remodelers. According to the latest LIRA by the Joint Center For Housing Studies, home improvement and repair will continue to increase through the second quarter of 2017, reaching 8% and staying steady for the rest of the year.

However, when The Farnsworth Group surveyed remodelers, they seem to be less optimistic with 70% expecting growth to stay the same or increase by a slight margin.

Planning For The Future

As the year ends, expect to see more predictions on what 2017 may hold for your business and plan accordingly. Take time to reflect on your year as a contractor, what you can improve on and how you can retain more customers. Set some goals based on these thoughts. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help set your goals for next year.

  • Customer Service: How can you go the extra mile for your customer?
  • Marketing: Can you increase your budget to improve your current marketing tactics?
  • Lead Generation: What new ways can you try to generate leads next year?
  • Networking With Others: Is there opportunities to invest in your community?
  • Joining An Organization: Are you ready to expand your education and knowledge in your field?
  • Business Growth: In what ways can you train and retain new employees?


Overall, it’s been a good year to be in the industry. We’re seeing projects and work remain steady through the year and even a few with some small increases. Looking ahead to 2017, expect to see some growth, especially with bath and kitchen projects.