Column, Money Matters

Home improvements trend higher

Due to Covid-19, Americans are spending more time at home than ever before, leading to a record amount of spending on home improvement.

It’s not that big of a surprise since many Americans now find their homes are doing triple duty as a place to live, work, and learn. Homeowners are funneling more money into their homes than ever thanks to a surplus of cash they would typically spend in other ways. However, what is surprising is the amount being spent on home improvement projects, according to NPR.

The average homeowner has spent around $17,140 during the pandemic to make their homes more enjoyable while sheltering in place. This increase is substantial compared to the 2019 State of Home Spending Report, where it showed the average spending on home improvement was $7,560. Additionally, studies show that 79% of homeowners begin their home improvement projects without a budget. This is an increase from 2019, where 75% of homeowners didn’t have a budget.

Besides home offices, many Americans are taking to outfitting their backyards to make the most of their living space. Pools are one of the top requests for contractors, as it gives people a backyard addition that allows them to keep fit. Searches on Houzz.com are three times what they were a year ago, as more and more Americans look to their backyards to help them weather the pandemic.

The increased need for building supplies has driven up the price—making items such as lumber harder to come by. Despite the scarcity of supplies, rock bottom interest rates and spending more time at home have made home improvement projects large and small attractive to homeowners.

Kevin Theissen is the owner of HWC Financial in Ludlow.

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