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SEATTLE, WA — Bathroom remodels are the most popular project for homeowners to tackle, with consumers seemingly willing to pay a premium for “spa-inspired” bathroom features, a major new research study has found.
According to the study, conducted by the real estate website Zillow, more than half of the homeowners surveyed would consider a bathroom renovation in 2022. Buyers also are willing to pay a premium for spa-inspired bathroom features such as curb-less showers (3.6% price premium), heated floors (3.2%) and free-standing bathtubs (2.6%), Zillow said.
Kitchen remodels are also widely popular, with Zillow’s research finding that 46% of homeowners would consider that project in 2022.
“Luxury kitchen amenities were must-haves over the past year, and that will likely continue as people spend more time cooking and eating at home,” Zillow said, adding that 72% of the homeowners surveyed will consider at least one home improvement project in the coming year.
“Most homeowners say they plan to stay in their current home for at least the next three years, and while uncertainty, pandemic precautions and affordability concerns keep many homeowners in place, most are willing to consider improving their current home,” said Manny Garcia, a population scientist at the Seattle-based Zillow. “From adding a backyard cottage to improving a bathroom or renovating the kitchen, most homeowners say they would consider at least one home improvement,” Garcia observed.
Creating more livable space is a consideration for many homeowners, Zillow survey data shows. Projects that are highest on their wish lists for 2022 include adding or improving an office space (31%), finishing a basement or attic (23%), and adding an accessory dwelling unit or guest house (21%), company researchers said.
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FOSTER CITY, CA — A significant percentage of American homeowners across multiple home-improvement trades plan to explore aging-in-place projects for themselves or a loved one in the coming year, a newly released survey reveals.
According to the survey’s findings, some 63% of the homeowners polled report that they will explore aging-in-place home improvement projects for themselves within the next 12 months, while another 6% plan to do so for a loved one.
The November survey, which involved some 2,110 respondents in the U.S., was conducted by Modernize Home Services, a Foster City, CA-based online firm that connects homeowners with contractors and other home-services professionals. The company operates in more than 15 home segments, including bathrooms and kitchens.
Among the primary projects to be considered, researchers said, are bath remodels that feature walk-in tubs and seats within a shower. Other aging-in-place products in high demand include medical alerts, non-slip flooring, stair lifts, grab bars and wider hallways.
“There are a few projects that offer more safety and security – such as installing brighter lightbulbs – that can be done by any homeowner, but more complex projects like walk-in tubs and concurrent bath and kitchen upgrades require professionals,” said Modernize V.P. Gregg Hicks. “This study shows an opportunity for contractors to capitalize on the increased demand for aging-in-place home improvement projects in the coming years.”
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Showers have come a long way in design, from a basic area adorned with standard subway tile and heavy framed doors to an oasis adorned with spectacular tile and advanced shower systems showcased through stunning frameless glass surrounds. In keeping with this trend, many homeowners are removing seldom-used tubs to expand their showers, making them the focal point of the space.
While frameless shower doors remain the most popular versions, doors that feature etched designs, decorative borders and patterns are also garnering significant attention. Whether the design is contemporary or traditional, there is a shower enclosure to fit the space.
Below are some of the hottest trends in shower enclosures.
— Many clear shower enclosures are designed with minimal hardware for a streamlined look, creating a sense of openness in the bath.
— Frames, trims and handles are offered in a range of finishes, from the more standard chrome and polished nickel to the more current brushed brass and rose gold.
— As boomers adapt their homes to become safer and physically more accessible as they age, low-threshold and barrier-free showers are gaining in popularity, and easy-to-use and push-to-open shower doors are garnering more attention.
— Taller shower enclosures (at least 76”) are popular for their ability to take advantage of floor-to-ceiling tile designs.
–Matte black is featured in many gridscape and trim elements, coordinating with bath fittings in similar finishes.
–Frosted glass and distinctive patterns that blur the interior and deliver privacy to the bather are among the requests from today’s homeowners.
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Philadelphia – DCC Technology, a Dublin, Ireland-based technology distribution and services business that trades as Exertis, has acquired Almo Corporation in North America.
The move extends the company’s international scale in the Pro AV sector and ramps up its expansion in the North American market. The addition of Almo Corporation builds on other acquisitions in North America such as Stampede, Jam Industries, The Music People and JB&A. It expands Exertis’ Pro AV capability to form the largest specialist Pro AV business in North America.
Alongside its Pro AV business, Almo Corporation is the largest distributor of mainstream appliances, delivering a comprehensive portfolio of products including full kitchen packages with essential appliances to small and medium-sized retailers throughout the U.S. In addition, it is the leading distributor of premium appliances, serving retailers and builders designing luxury residential installations for refrigeration, ventilation and cooking in both indoor and outdoor settings. Almo’s business in consumer appliances and lifestyle products will add scale to Exertis North America’s business in the consumer channel.
Almo’s 75-year-old, third-generation, family-owned business brings 660 employees, nine distribution centers and more than 2.5 million square feet of warehousing space across North America. Almo Corporation will benefit from leveraging Exertis’ financial resources and supply-chain logistics, according to the company. The acquisition will provide Exertis North America with increased back-end economies of scale allied to the front-end specialization.
Almo will continue to be operated by the Chaiken Family, with Warren Chaiken as president and CEO and Gene Chaiken as Chairman. The combined Exertis and Almo Pro AV divisions will, in due course, be led by Sam Taylor, current exec. v.p. & COO of Almo Pro AV. Shortly after the completion of the integration, the combined business will be rebranded as Exertis Almo Pro AV.
John Dunne, a long-time senior executive with Exertis, currently leading the Exertis Pro AV team in North America, will join the Almo executive team and help lead the integration. The Premium Appliances and Mainstream Appliances divisions will continue to be led by Steve Terry and Jack Halperin, respectively.
Exertis’ expanded North American operation becomes a $2.4 billion business overseen by Martin Szpiro, managing director of Exertis North America. It forms part of the international expansion strategy of Exertis International, under Managing Director Clive Fitzharris.
Tim Griffin, DCC Technology & Exertis managing director said, “The acquisition of Almo Corporation is the largest in DCC’s history and signals our confident and ambitious intent to expand DCC Technology. By integrating Almo with our North American business, we will form the largest specialist Pro AV business in North America. Almo’s 75-year history of growth and success, combined with its longstanding relationships with industry partners and its ability to continually innovate and expand will be great assets to Exertis. In turn, we will bring significant economies of scale, global supply chain access and other benefits to the customers of Almo Corporation.”
Warren Chaiken, Almo Corporation president & CEO stated, “Having just completed a year-long celebration of 75 years of growth and business success, the time is right to give our manufacturer and channel partners a truly global distribution stage so they can operate their businesses at a greater capacity, leverage more buying power and the ability to compete for a more comprehensive position in the global supply chain. We are committed to growing with our partners by remaining their value-added distributor with larger scale and access to more products, more services and more financial support. For them, this transition will be seamless in that we will operate business as usual.”
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MINNEAPOLIS — U.S. Customs and Border Protection has taken punitive action against several companies charged with violating U.S. trade laws by attempting to evade tariffs on quartz surface product imports from China, Cambria Company LLC announced last week.
The Le Sueur, MN-based manufacturer of quartz surface products said that Customs officials, taking action under The Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA), found that 15 U.S. importers were guilty of misclassifying, undervaluing and illegally transshipping Chinese quartz surface products through Malaysia in order to evade the payment of antidumping and countervailing (AD/CVD) duties. Days later, Customs cracked down on two additional importers for illegally misclassifying their imports of Chinese quartz surface products as “crushed glass” surfaces, said Cambria, which has charged numerous Chinese producers and exporters, several Malaysian companies involved in transshipping merchandise, and numerous importers with participating in the tariff-evasion efforts.
Customs will suspend the entries of quartz surface products by the importers subject to the agency’s investigation until it receives instructions from the U.S. Commerce Dept. as to the correct AD/CVD rates that should be applied to the entries, Cambria said. Duties will then be imposed.
“Customs should be commended for its efforts in digging into the facts of this evasion scheme to ensure that the U.S. importers that were involved are held accountable for their illegal activity,” said Luke Meisner of Schagrin Associates, Cambria’s legal counsel. “Enforcement action in this investigation targets an unprecedented large number of U.S. importers and should send a clear signal to the industry that evaders can and will be caught.”
“This illegal evasion of the antidumping and countervailing duties on quartz surface products will not be tolerated,” said Arik Tendler, chief sales officer for Cambria. “Customs’ aggressive actions are important because they hold these importers accountable for their illegal evasion, deter other importers from engaging in similar evasion tactics, and ensure that the domestic industry receives the relief to which it is entitled under the U.S. trade laws.”
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HACKETTSTOWN, NJ — Ongoing supply-chain disruptions coupled with labor shortages, higher material costs and emerging uncertainties wrought by COVID-19 are cooling the pace of kitchen and bath market growth in the wake of an exceptionally strong year in 2021.
According to the latest Market Forecast Report issued in recent weeks by the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the 2021 kitchen and bath industry posted healthy, double-digit gains over 2020, although growth projections were “pared back a bit” compared to the NKBA’s previous (July 2021) forecast, “as lingering issues caused by the pandemic seem to be catching up to consumer sentiment.”
The NKBA projected total 2021 revenues of $167 billion, a 19% increase over the $141 billion that was posted in 2020, but lower than earlier forecasts, which predicted that full-year revenue totals would reach $171 billion.
“2021 has been like none other for our industry, as strong growth across virtually every sector led to record revenues,” said Bill Darcy, CEO of the Hackettstown, NJ-based NKBA. However, some homeowners, faced with price increases related to supply chain disruptions, “are deferring projects until they’ve enough saved to get exactly what they want, or in the hope that costs will come down,” Darcy added.
The NKBA reported a nearly 10% year-over-year growth in the kitchen and bath remodeling sector in 2021, and a 26% growth in the new construction sector. Premium projects were up by more than 22%, while low-end projects grew about 11%, “suggesting a cooling of the DIY trend,” the NKBA said.
“These findings are very encouraging and indicate that…growth should be sustained into 2022,” Darcy said.
In related news, the latest NKBA/John Burns Real Estate Consulting “Kitchen & Bath Market Index,” issued in December, remained in “solidly expanding territory,” but cooled from the record number posted in the previous quarter. Expected future activity “also tailed off a bit,” having peaked in the first quarter of 2021, reported the NKBA and John Burns.
“In relative terms, the outlook remains quite positive,” with association members projecting about a 9% sales gain in 2022 – “impressive if it holds true, given 2021’s strong growth,” said the NKBA, adding that supply chain disruptions, cost of materials and availability of skilled labor are hampering the industry’s ability to take full advantage of strong demand…as NKBA members scramble to meet client needs, with most resorting to brands they’ve never previously used.”
Other findings of the NKBA/John Burns Report were as follows:
n The challenging business environment has forced the industry to become “supplier/vendor agnostic” – prioritizing product availability above other factors. The industry has also moved toward sourcing more domestic-based products in an attempt to circumvent global supply chain issues. Manufacturers are prioritizing high-value products to protect profit margins while stockpiling excess materials to help ease lead times and overall constraints.
n The kitchen and bath industry continues to feel the pains of ongoing supply chain challenges. Port congestion is further compounding strained supply chains that are still recovering from the effects of Winter Storm Uri and Hurricane Ida, while labor shortages are causing delays in the trucking industry. Meanwhile, lead times for domestic and foreign raw materials are well over 6+ weeks and has many within the sector struggling to keep up with demand in today’s economy. As a result, product backlogs extend well into 2022 as these difficulties prevent those in the industry from staffing full production schedules.
n Even in the face of ongoing challenges, the industry remains cautiously optimistic about the health of the sector. Despite projects being pushed into 2022, the industry is continuing to see demand for building and construction projects as 84% of firms report low postponement rates and 90% report low cancellation rates relative to their overall project volume.
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