After an extended period stagnancy in the remodeling industry, it appears that modest financial gains in the economy are spurring many homeowners to pull out their "honey-do" lists and go after projects they've been dreaming about for years.  The National Association of the Remodeling Industry reported modest increases in activity recently, as homeowners are encouraged by financial indicators as well as low interest rates.

If you've been putting off much-needed remodeling or dreamed-of renovations, this just might be the time to embark on such a project.  More and more homeowners are electing to make their current homes more workable and updated rather than seeking to buy a different home.  The housing market is still somewhat sluggish, and so the prospects of selling one's home and finding another are not as attractive as fixing up a current home, especially if there is a substantial amount of equity involved.

Home remodeling, when done right, can add value to a home as well as beauty and enjoyment.  Less expensive, smaller projects are more popular, though the full-blow kitchen and bath makeovers still remain near the top of the list.  Roofing and siding improvements are gaining in popularity, with low- or no-maintenance materials taking the place of traditional materials such as wood which required regular upkeep.  Many property owners are now turning to roofing and siding options which can help them save money over time, not just on upfront costs.

If you're planning on staying in your home for awhile, consider making improvements which not only increase the value of your home but also increase the enjoyment you find in it.  That may mean adding no-maintenance siding or replacement windows to free up more of your time while cutting your upkeep costs, or adding a deck or an outdoor living area to provide another space to relax and entertain.  Helping Minneapolis and St