What’s trending in home improvement this year

Angie’s List quizzed more than one thousand contractors across the country to determine what’s hot and what’s not in home improvement in 2015.

More than 60 percent of homeowners who’ve been talking with Angie’s List contractors about remodeling in 2015 are prepared to open their wallets wider than those who made home improvements last year, and it’s not because the prices are soaring – the projects are getting bigger.

“According to our contractor survey, 25 percent of their consumers are planning to spend $10,000 or more on home improvements in 2015,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks.

Now that we know how much people are willing to spend, what are the hottest projects for 2015?

“Remodeling projects that top the list aren’t that different for 2015,” Hicks added. “We’re still seeing kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, but the new thing we are seeing are consumers asking for bigger closets and extra pantry space.”

Also on the list, more luxurious bathrooms.

“If you’re updating your home, remodeling your bathroom is one of your best returns on investment,” said Hicks. “You’re going to get probably 80 percent of your money back. But keep in mind, remodeling a bathroom is not a cheap project. Where it used to be an average bathroom might have been around $15,000, now they’re starting $20,000, as much as $50,000 for a master bathroom.”

Another finding from the survey involves those shiny stainless steel appliances that so many new kitchens have nowadays.

“Many homeowners have a love hate relationship with stainless steel appliances,” said Hicks. “They love the look, but tackling those fingerprints can just be a nightmare for some parents, but in 2015, we’re still seeing stainless steel top the list.”

Angie says contractors are telling her that there’s a direct correlation between those smudges and smears and the quality of the stainless steel.