Spending on big-ticket remodeling projects is predicted to gain momentum toward the end of 2012 and accelerate in 2013, according to the latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. The LIRA is based on the total dollar amount expected to be spent on home improvements over four consecutive quarters. The forecast counts major remodeling expenditures, such as a kitchen or bath remodel, but not spending for general maintenance. It also excludes improvements to rental units.