Cash for Clunkers (Appliances) to Bail Out Kitchen Remodel Industry?

Based on the recently completed Cash for Clunkers (Autos) government rebate program, there is yet another in the works that encourages us to replace our ailing, less-than-energy-efficient appliances for new ones.  This program is set to roll out this fall.  Many of us in the residential remodeling industry who have been struggling hit hard (akin to having been run over by a bus) since mid 2007 are looking to the government who so generously bailed out the banks and the auto industry, to send (those of us who still want to work in the residential remodeling industry and who are not night clerks at 7-11 or motel maids for Best Western) a little lot of help our way.

Is the Cash for Clunkers (appliance version) going to do that sufficiently?  I think not.  As anyone who has remodeled their kitchen will tell you, replacement of the appliances is in fact one of the most costly aspects of the project.  However, it is but one component of it.  The most costly part is usually the labor which includes minor to major construction, installation of cabinets, counters, tiles and other finish materials …and last but usually ignored (because cabinet dealers tend to bury it in the pricing of other things rather than honestly present it as an expense to their clientele) is design and drafting of the plans.

Is there bail-out money set aside for the other costs to remodel kitchens –like cabinets and other materials, labor?  Not unless you are recovering from some natural disaster or doing something that will make your home more energy efficient and qualify you for tax rebates (like replacing windows).  Much like healthcare reform will not likely create coverage for nose jobs and facelifts, the government is not going to buy you your dream kitchen.  Has the bank bailout loosened the purse strings so you can borrow the money to build your dream kitchen?  Not that I have seen.  And even so, home resale values have flat lined making (any level from modest to high-end) kitchen remodel a luxury rather than a ‘sound investment’ toward the future resale value of your home.

So does anybody know if 7-11 or Best Western employees have a 401K or good health plan???  Just kidding! I love what I do (even though I’m not doing it a whole lot these days) and will hang in there.  I still believe that change will come.  I’m just not going to hold my breath waiting for President Obama and his administration to save me.  I’m not here to ‘blame the government’ for not saving me (my industry) though I do get frustrated with some of the things I see our tax money paying for.  I know that ultimately, I am the master of my own ship and responsible for it floating or sinking.  I expect nothing more than a little wind in my sails from Uncle Sam and a little help riding out rough seas.  Glub, glub, glubbb….


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