According to Realtor.com, the United States is currently short by 5.24 million houses to meet the demand of people who want to buy homes. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the construction of houses through shortages in construction supplies due to supply chain problems. This also led to a high rise in building materials costs. Many construction companies paused their projects for fear that they would be too expensive for the market, with average house prices higher than average. Another problem faced by construction companies is a shortage of skilled labor. Workers have been opting to stay home rather than exposing themselves to the virus in construction sites.
Demand for houses has been driven mainly by millennials who have come to the age of settling down, having children, and wanting to own their first home. Faced with a lack of affordable houses to purchase, many have no choice but to continue renting.
Current homeowners who want to upgrade to bigger and better homes find that they cannot find the dream home that fits their budget even if they sell. It is more affordable to renovate instead of what they have.
The Renovation Boom
A survey by LendingHome shows that 46 percent of homeowners in the United States intend to renovate their dwellings this year. This is understandable because two-thirds of existing American homes were built 30 years ago and need improvements.
Based on data from the US Remodeler Index (USRI), confidence in remodeling grew from a high 72.7 percent in the first quarter of 2021 to an even higher 75.3 percent in the second quarter. Among remodelers, 71 percent stated that their clients were spending more, and 62 percent noted that the average size of their project is continuing to increase. More than half said that their project queue in the second quarter of 2021 is more significant than in the second quarter of 2020. They anticipate an annual increase of 11 percent in revenue by the end of this year.
According to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the quarterly spending of American homeowners on home improvements and repairs reached $352 billion in the second quarter of 2021. Many experts expect spending to continue to grow and show an annual increase of 8.6 percent in the second quarter of 2022.
Extending Home Living Spaces
Making the most of a property’s outdoor space is one of the top renovation projects these days. Homeowners want to be able to spend their free time at home relaxing in a safe, comfortable, and attractive space outside to free themselves from cabin fever. This also extends their living area, making the property feel more extensive.
For instance, they add patios, gazebos, or pergolas and furnish these with outdoor furniture, adding wood or concrete decks with a waterproof coating to make these last longer. Homeowners also construct firepits to provide warmth in cold weather. The usual outdoor grill is expanded into full outdoor kitchens. Swimming pools are also popular because homeowners can use these for exercise in addition to recreation.
Indoor Home Renovations
Indoors, the advent of work-from-home arrangements has created new needs for households. It is no longer enough to shove a desk against the wall as a workstation anywhere in the house. Home office spaces that can be closed off are now a must for virtual meetings. If more than one person is working from home, each must have a soundproof space. These home offices must look professional enough for others to see onscreen.
The main kitchen is also a popular project for renovation as restaurants closed early in the pandemic, and many people still avoid eating out with the spread of the different COVID-19 variants. Cooking has been elevated from a tedious chore to a family bonding activity. People have become more adventurous in experimenting with various cuisines. This calls for kitchens with more prep space and new equipment.
To balance off calories from spending much time in the kitchen, many homeowners add a home gym. Basements or attics are often refurbished for this purpose. It is essential to keep fit during the pandemic to strengthen the immune system. Regular workouts also boost mental health amid the crisis.
Another area of the home that can provide a calming atmosphere is the bathroom. Many homeowners renovate this to resemble a mini spa. Showerheads that create rainfall-like effects are in. Indoor plants add to the feeling of rejuvenation. People add diffusers of essential oils to complete the experience.
Renovation revitalizes an old house and makes it seem new. Not only does it look better, but it also serves the current needs of its residents. It also has the added advantage of containing memories that will now be preserved. It can be even better than moving to a new house.