During the pandemic, homeowners in the United States find comfort in renovating their homes as they shelter in place. Even as fully vaccinated people now enjoy more freedom to go about normal activities outside, the home remains a sanctuary. Many people still work from home as well, hence, spend most of their time there. They want to be in a space that is both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.
According to the report on Improving America’s Housing 2021 by the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) of Harvard University, home improvement and repair expenditure in 2020 reached almost $420 billion, representing a three percent growth from the previous year. Of this amount, homeowners spent $339 billion while renters spent the rest. This was even as the economy dipped by 3.5 percent. The forecast for home improvement and repair expenditure in 2021 is $433 billion, of which $352 billion is from homeowners.
Data from the Statista Research Department show that in the first quarter of 2021 alone, homeowners’ improvement expenditure in the U.S. already reached $353 billion. The forecast is that it will reach $370 billion by the first quarter of 2022.
Home Improvement for Resale Value
Some homeowners are specifically making home improvements to boost the property’s resale value. Those who do so focus on the percentage of cost that they can recoup when they sell the property. According to a CNBC article, the exterior attractiveness or curb appeal of a home greatly increases its resale value.
The Remodeling 2021 Cost vs. Value Report of Hanley Wood, LLC. shows that five out of the top six projects with the highest percentage of recouped cost are outdoor improvements. These include a garage door replacement with 93.8 percent of cost recouped, the addition of manufactured stone veneer at 92.1 percent, replacement of siding to fiber cement at 69.4 percent, window replacement to vinyl at 68.6 percent, and siding replacement to vinyl at 68.3 percent.
Home Improvement for Enjoyment
Any home improvement increases the value of the property. Many homeowners recognize this and focus on improvements that meet their needs for new spaces and boost their mood.
Creating an outdoor experience while at home is one of the top home renovation projects. Homeowners create decks, patios, and gazebos to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. They create gardens and add water features like fountains or small ponds. Some replace portions of exterior walls with glass to bring the outside view and more sunlight into the house.
Indoors, people create home offices and study rooms. They remodel bathrooms to simulate a spa. Home gyms are popular to continue fitness regimens. As people now mostly dine at home, they remodel kitchens to make home cooking more convenient and enjoyable.
Interior design also plays a huge part in home renovations, complementing all other improvements. At times, this alone is enough to make a home more pleasant to live in without the need for more expensive construction.
The color of paint, for instance, can change the visual effect of a room’s dimensions. Painting the walls and ceiling a light color makes a room look bigger, both horizontally and vertically. To make a narrow room look wider, paint the wall at the end a darker color and the sides a light color. To make a short room look longer, paint the wall at the end much lighter than the walls at the sides. To make a room with a low ceiling look taller, paint the ceiling lighter than the walls. Large mirrors can also visually change a room’s size, creating the illusion of more space.
Research data show that colors affect mood. Yellow is the strongest color psychologically as it mimics sunshine and evokes joy. Green calms the emotions and evokes feelings of relaxation amid nature. Blue is soothing, lowers blood pressure, and encourages reflection and concentration. Red stimulates energy but can also stimulate aggression. It is, thus, often used sparingly as an accent color rather than the main color in rooms.
A totally new look can be created by repainting a room, changing curtains, rugs, and throw pillows, and rearranging existing furniture. The outdoors can be brought in by adding indoor plants that will also help filter out toxins from indoor air and boost the oxygen level. A tabletop trickling fountain adds the soothing sound of running water to the space. These changes can shift the energy of the environment drastically.
At any budget, home improvement does a lot to improve the overall health and well-being of residents. Efficient use of space, aesthetic design, and comfortable amenities make daily living more joyful and efficient.