Home Improvement Projects Grow in Popularity

The pandemic transformed the way we live, work and spend money. If you’ve purchased interior paint for your home, new flooring or worked with a remodeler recently, you’re not alone. Home owners have shifted their spending from entertainment and travel to home improvement projects, according to HomeAdvisor’s latest “State of Home Spending” survey.

HomeAdvisor conducts a survey every year of home owners across the U.S. who have completed projects within the last 12 months. The survey revealed that home owners spent an average of $13,138 on home-improvement projects in 2020, compared to $9,081 in 2019. Rising costs for material and labor are contributing factors to the increase in spending. Increased home buying is also a factor, primarily driven by millennials, the oldest of whom are now at or close to the median age of first-time home buyers, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Home maintenance projects, such as cleaning and landscaping, saw the biggest year-over-year increase, rising from $1,105 in 2019 to $3,192 in 2020. Contributing factors include people using their homes more, resulting in more wear and tear, and spending more time at home, making problems more noticeable.

Home improvement and home emergency spending rose $745 and $124, respectively, over 2019. The top home improvement projects included interior painting projects, bathroom remodels and new flooring installations. Respondents to HomeAdvisor’s survey indicated that interior painting projects would remain the top project leading into 2021 — a departure from prior years, in which room remodels generally held the top spot. According to the report, “painting was one of the most popular projects across nearly all age groups, because it is relatively affordable and offers a lot of visual value in terms of the look and feel of a room.”

The report also examined the way that home owners are using their homes in the wake of COVID-19. Seven in 10 respondents indicated that COVID-19 had increased their need for home cooking, 50 percent were working from home and 40 percent were incorporating more home entertaining.

If you’re ready to modernize your home, contact your local association here for a list of professional remodelers near you.