In this depressed economy, specializing in green projects is paying big dividends for remodelers, according to a survey conducted by the Remodeling Futures Program at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The Web-based survey found that pros who are green remodeling specialists (defined as those in which half or more of their projects make a home more energy efficient or environmentally friendly) are faring much better than traditional remodelers or pros who take on just a few green projects.

Nearly half (48%) of the green specialists surveyed said their green business was doing better than their traditional remodeling work, compared with 14% who said their green remodeling business was doing worse. The Remodeling Futures Program concluded that green specialists are weathering the storm better than non-specialists because more homeowners are seeking them out or because green specialists are more successful at selling their services.

The Remodeling Futures Program did not ask the specialists if they were certifying their green projects.

On the other hand, the survey found that 32% of traditional remodelers responding said their green projects were faring worse than their regular business, with 9% saying performance was much worse. By comparison, 18% said their green jobs were faring better and only 2% indicated much better.

The full report on the survey of 250 full-service remodeling contractors will be available free at in early September.

Jean Dimeo is Chief Editor, Online for EcoHome.