Remodeling permits top $7.4 million in first six months | SteamboatToday.com

Remodeling permits top $7.4 million in first six months

The value of additions and remodeling projects undertaken at existing Steamboat Springs homes has escalated dramatically in the first half of 2007 to $7.4 million. There are signs the tight single-family housing market is helping to fuel the trend.

“We’ve had that conversation with several clients,” contractor Jamie Letson said. “It’s a very different market. Things are changing out there.”

Letson, who has operated Letson Enterprises in Steamboat for 15 years, has seen clients spend $100,000 on high-end kitchen cabinets and $20,000 to $30,000 on appliance packages to be installed in otherwise modest homes.

That trend fits with figures released by the Routt County Regional Building Department.

The valuation of building permits issued for remodels and additions in the city for the first half of the year was $500,000 more than the previous high of $4.9 million in 2005. The next closest in the past 10 years was $2.9 million in 2006, and as recently as 2003, the first-half total was $1.95 million.

The price of existing homes in Steamboat has jumped this year, and undeveloped single-family lots are scarce within the city limits. A report recently released by Steamboat Village Brokers shows single-family home prices in the broader Steamboat market were up 26 percent in the first quarter from 2006, and the average price was $1.15 million. That number takes in less expensive homes in neighboring towns.

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Doug Labor of Buyer’s Resource Real Estate in Steamboat said there are currently 28 lots listed for sale in the city at asking prices beginning at $299,000 and increasing to $10 million for a one-tenth acre ski-in/ski-out parcel on Ski Trail Lane.

Letson said he is working on additions and remodels for several clients for whom he has done previous work. They’ve looked at trading up – selling their existing homes to purchase a finer home – and have opted to enhance their existing property instead. In several cases, he said, the client previously has undertaken a significant home addition and now is going back through and upgrading everything from kitchen cabinets to doors and light fixtures.

“They want nice things,” Letson said. “With the market and the sale of the ski area, they’re confident they can do it and end up ahead.”

Ed Patalik, in his third year in business as Ed Patalik Home Improvements, is enjoying consistent business without tackling home additions.

“I fill a niche of small remodels,” he said. “I have steady business with repeat customers.”

His clients come to him to rebuild decks and install custom woodworking.

When first-half valuations approached $5 million in 2005, that number was realized with 70 permits, three more than needed to total $7.4 million in 2007. Steamboat saw 62 permits within the city limits for additions and alterations to dwellings in the first half of 2002. Their valuation reached $3.2 million.

– To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com