Update 2: Local home renovating and remodeling on the rise - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Update 2: Local home renovating and remodeling on the rise

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - The sound of hammers could be a sign of a local economic turnaround. Certain home construction projects are on the rise in the Chippewa Valley.

There's a number of reasons but local builders say it starts with the economy. More people are more confident and looking to spend.

All across Eau Claire, home renovations and remodeling are on the rise. That includes the Bell's home here on Garfield Avenue.

"The house is a little too small and we wanted to add on. We noticed other people had new additions," says Helen Bell.

Residential building permits in the city are up more than 30 percent since the start of the year. The Bells needed one of those permits to add on to their home.

"It's going to be nice," Bell says. "We have a new addition room with a deck above and a double garage."

"It's a trend over all that renovating and remodeling is up right now and a lot of people are looking into their home to do projects instead of moving them to a new build," says Karen Rockwell, executive officer of the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association.

Rockwell says more people in the Chippewa Valley are more secure at their jobs and looking to spend.

"I think that people are looking at their house and how to add value to their house," says Rockwell. "And one of the best ways to do that is through remodeling."

Rockwell says tax credits and rebates for things like new energy efficient windows, doors and roofs also sweeten the deal.

The Bells took advantage of those incentives. And soon, they'll have a bigger home--just like other local families.

"We're thrilled," says Bell. "They started last week and it's going pretty fast."

The home builders association also says banks and credit unions are continuing to offer low interest rate loans. That's made it easier for homeowners to get financing for their projects. The hope from builders is that the trend continues.

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