According to National Kitchen and Bath Association President Mark Karas, consumers have become more mindful of their spending habits on home improvements. Karas says that the recession has led many homeowners to second guess their home upgrades and remodels, with a majority of consumers opting for equity loans for financing. Energy-efficient appliances are also becoming a significant part of consumer remodels as top energy-saving appliances debut from Energy Star and General Electric. Karas notes that LED lighting is supplanting fluorescent bulbs as consumers remodel their homes to be more green-friendly. Though Karas says that consumers are now “budget-driven” in their remodeling plans, kitchen and bath projects are still at the top of the list for residential upgrades. In addition to pricing fixtures and contractors, consumers are pricing the home equity loans they’re using to finance them, with some banks offering financing as low as 3.9 percent. | Read More