National Home Remodeling Month Launches with a Look at Labor


The labor shortage and project ROI dominate discussions in the remodeling industry

Pinterest, Houzz, Facebook, Instagram — each and every day I see amazing home transformations that delight and inspire. I’m constantly in awe of the skill and craftsmanship behind these remodeling projects. And, while smaller scale projects are suitable for ambitious DIYers, there’s something to be said for hiring a professional remodeler and getting the job done right. This brings me to our topic today, National Home Remodeling Month.

Both the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) issue a rally cry during the month of May to recognize the work of professional remodelers and encourage homeowners to tackle a long-awaited renovation or needed repair.


Helping homeowners make smart renovation decisions is one of the benefits of working with a professional.

To launch the month NAHB puts out an annual survey on the industry. This year the topic was labor and the survey reinforced what we already knew, there is a severe shortage of skilled-workers.

Finished carpenters and rough carpenters topped the list with roughly 85% of respondents reporting shortages at these positions. However, the survey found more workers are needed at positions across the build from masons to drywall installers to roofers. The only position poled not at a critical shortage level, building maintenance manager.

As can be imagined the effects of these shortages are trickling down to consumers with higher subcontractor wages leading to higher overall prices and longer timelines on remodeling projects. You can read the full report here.

Cost vs. Value

As labor costs push up project costs, focusing on the projects most likely to earn a solid return investment will become more important to some homeowners. Making this is a great time for remodelers to revisit the annual Cost vs. Value Report published by Hanley Wood and share this valuable information with their customers. The report outlines the remodeling projects that result in the greatest return on investment. For example, here’s a rundown of the top five projects from the most recent report:

Type of ProjectReturn on Investment
Garage Door Replacement97.5%
Manufactured Stone Veneer94.9%
Minor Kitchen Remodel80.5%
Deck Addition (Wood)75.6%
Siding Replacement75.6%


One of the projects seeing the largest jump in return on investment over 2018 was the addition of a composite deck which will now get you a return of nearly 70 percent. Coupled with a drop in ROI for the addition of a wood deck this points to an interesting trend towards low-maintenance outdoor living.

Overall, remodelers bring curb appeal, comfort and value to our homes and that’s certainly something to honor and recognize during the month of May.

Originally published in 2014, this article has been updated to reflect the latest research and home improvement trends. 

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Plus, 6 suggestions for homeowners that want to green their kitchen remodel and knock out curb appeal and improved efficiency with this (high yielding ROI) upgrade.

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