Professional Design Portfolio Seen as Top Draw for New Clients

by Anita Shaw

PLEASANT PRAIRIE, WI — When choosing a design professional or contractor for home renovations, most homeowners believe that a professional portfolio showing examples of past projects matters even more than a personal recommendation or online ratings and reviews.

That’s among several key findings of a survey conducted by Hausera, a newly launched online kitchen and bath specialty retailer. Hausera’s first annual “Truth about Kitchen and Bathroom Renovations Survey,” whose results were released last month, was aimed at gleaning insights into kitchen, bath and laundry room remodeling.

Hausera’s survey found that homeowners across the country – and across all age groups – are “highly active” in renovation, with eight in 10 having remodeled a kitchen, bath or laundry room in the past two years, and six in 10 having plans to do more in the next two years.

Across kitchen, bathroom and laundry room renovations, surveyed homeowners said that adapting to a major lifestyle change – such as a changing family or accommodations due to a disability or aging – was the biggest reason for undertaking a renovation (at 41%), according to the Pleasant Prairie, WI-based Hausera. Other reasons for remodeling included a desire to increase property value prior to selling (38%), and to improve the functionality of a space (38%), the survey found.

According to the survey’s findings, 68% of homeowners hired a specialized design professional to handle their kitchen, bathroom or laundry room renovation, while 61% hired an interior designer, 58% hired a remodeling contractor and 45% hired an architect, according to the survey.

When choosing a design professional or contractor for home renovations, 38% of surveyed homeowners said a professional portfolio that shows examples of past projects “matters most,” according to Hausera. By comparison, 35% said a recommendation from friends or family members is most important, while 34% said online ratings and reviews matter most.

Among the survey’s other findings:

  • Homeowners across all age groups said that the three top challenges in remodeling were staying on budget (41%), finding the right professionals for the project (39%) and funding the project (33%).
  • Nearly half (48%) of homeowners said they plan to buy “smart” internet-connected products for their kitchen, bathroom or laundry rooms in the next year. Smart products topping homeowners’ wish lists include smart lighting systems (58%), hands-free faucets (52%) and Wi-Fi-enabled refrigerators (47%).
  • More than one-half (51%) of the surveyed homeowners also said they plan to buy products that include “green,” environmentally friendly features in the next year. The most-wanted products with green features are energy-efficient lighting (52%), energy-efficient dishwashers (49%) and water-conserving showerheads (45%), toilets (43%) and faucets (42%).

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