Pandemic changed how homeowners viewed remodeling, renovations

Installing hardwood flooring and creating a permanent home office space were the top home renovation projects of the past year.

U.S. households saw homeowners and families embark on a wide variety of renovations and remodeling projects over the past year.

That is according to new findings in the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, a joint study from the National Association of Realtors® and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI0.

This year’s report analyzes several home improvement aspects, including why people decide to remodel, the general costs of specific remodeling tasks, and the fulfillment experienced after a successful project has been completed.

The report notes that Americans spent $420 billion in 2020 on home remodeling ventures. Ninety percent of NARI members cited a greater demand for contracting remodeling work during the pandemic.

Although 83 percent of consumers stated that they would have remodeled regardless of the pandemic, 86 percent reported that remodeling one area of their home then inspired them to remodel other areas of the house.

The exact reasons why homeowners decided to modify their living spaces varied. Thirty-five percent of owners said the single most important result from their remodel was better functionality and livability.

Upon completion of their project, 22 percent said they had durable and long-lasting results, materials and appliances. Fourteen percent reported beauty and aesthetics because of their remodel.

“The pandemic has changed the way we use our homes, and many of those changes are here to stay,” said Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at NAR. “As a result, homeowners needed to reconfigure or remodel how they use their home and maximize space.”

Projects that made the renovators want to remain home, or remodel jobs that sparked an increase of enjoyment among occupants, received a high Joy Score, with 10 being considered a perfect Joy Score. Some tasks that were awarded scores of 10 were as follows: painting a home’s entire interior, painting one room, adding a home office, hardwood floor refinishing, closet renovation, and insulation upgrades, among other labors.

Hardwood floor refinishing received a 10 Joy Score because the homeowners felt happiness and satisfaction in their home after undertaking the upgrade.

Sixty-four percent of those polled answered that they have an increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home now that their hardwood flooring is installed. Another 64 percent said just thinking about the completed project gives them a “major sense of accomplishment.”

Adding a new home office is another task that earned a perfect Joy Score based on homeowners’ sentiments. Ninety-one percent of consumers said they have a greater desire to be home now that their office is in place. Seventy-three percent said they have an increased sense of enjoyment when they are home.

Proper planning is important

The NARI strongly suggests that homeowners think about any renovation project from start to finish. Careful planning of your home improvement projects will enable you to update your home, increase the value of your investment and customize your living space ― all for a lot less than the cost of a new home, the NARI says.

Key questions and points to consider:

  • Look over your property carefully.
  • What repairs are needed?
  • What improvements would you like to make?
  • Think ahead and determine your future needs.

(SOURCE: National Association of Realtors® and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry)