People who refrained from splurging on big home-improvement projects during the housing boom are reaping the rewards now.
Depending on the region and the job, some homeowners are paying as much as 20% less for home-remodeling projects than they would have a few years ago. Many contractors are willing to accept smaller jobs and "handyman" projects that they used to snub. And more projects are being delivered on time and on budget—a stark contrast from the boom years.
Kim and Chandra Sobieski of Cat Spring, Texas, considered expanding their home two years ago, but thought the contractor's $380,000 estimate was too high. Earlier this year, Mr. Sobieski, a 54-year-old retired title-company executive, called the same contractor and got a quote for a slightly revised expansion for 20% less. The couple wound up paying $300,000 to add 1,500 square feet to their old 3,400-square-foot home, including installing a new roof, converting a garage to an entertainment room and adding a new garage.