The home improvement industry’s continued economic struggle is offering a silver lining to homeowners, but Angie’s List warns consumers not to be so dazzled by the shiny offers that they forget to hire smart.
Angie's List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews
on local contractors and doctors, asked more than 500 builders
, and general contractors
how 2009 affected their business. Nearly 80 percent of the companies said they were willing to drop their prices to get a job. In 2008 when asked that same question, only 43 percent were willing to drop their prices.
Consumers may also save some money on building materials. Nearly a quarter of service providers said they saw a drop in the price of some building materials in 2009 compared to 2008 – lumber and flooring both went down in price.
"More than half of the companies willing to cut prices tell us they’d limit their discounts 10 percent, but nearly a quarter of the others would cut up to 20 percent,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List. “While this might sound like great news, consumers should never hire based on price alone. Finding a reliable contractor who meets your particular needs will give you a better return on your dollar every time.”
An earlier poll of Angie’s List members showed 87 percent of respondents have plans for a home improvement project in 2010 and they plan to spend an average of 4.8 percent of their home’s value in doing so.
“More than 60 percent of our respondents said they will stay put and update or improve their home this year – most focusing on making an aesthetic improvement or repair,” Hicks said. "Whether your project is large or small, check that the professionals you hire are reliable and make sure you have the resources to cover both the estimated project cost and the unexpected expenses that inevitably come up.”
Angie’s List collects consumer reviews on local contractors and doctors in more than 500 service categories. Currently, more than 1 million consumers across the U.S. and Canada rely on Angie’s List to help them make the best hiring decisions. Members get unlimited access to local ratings via Internet or phone, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine and help from the Angie’s List complaint resolution service. Take a quick tour of Angie’s List and view the latest Angie’s List news.