Remodels taking place at highest levels in almost a decade

Coming off more than a half decade of economic uncertainty, the United States has at least one bright spot on the horizon when it comes to seeing a stabilization of its citizens' finances: The housing market. Once floundering and considered by many analysts to be beyond repair following the burst of the housing bubble in 2007, property values have risen dramatically over the past year, giving homeowners more equity and confidence to pursue investments into their residences.

According to the Home Remodeling Index from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the market for these projects moved higher in the third quarter, representing its highest level since the first quarter of 2004. The index currently reads at 57, which is two points higher than it was in the second quarter. Any reading above 50 is considered healthy.

"In addition to existing home sales, which support remodeling activity as owners fix up their homes before and after a move, remodeling has benefitted from rising home values,"  NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said in a press release. "This boosts home equity that owners can tap to finance remodeling projects. We expect existing home sales and house prices to increase, but at a slower rate over the next year, so the demand for remodeling services should also increase, but more gradually over that period."

Before undertaking a renovation or a remodel, homeowners should seek the consultation of a home inspection contractor. This way, they will be alerted to any hazards that could make a project more difficult or that need to be addressed as part of the remodel.