Home Improvement Projects on the Rise

A majority of homeowners are planning to make home improvements in the coming months, a slight uptick from a year ago.

LightStream, the online lending division of financial services company Truist, commissioned a survey of 1,300 homeowners to find out whether home renovations were in their near future. Not only are more homeowners expecting to make improvements than last year, but they are willing to spend more money to do so this year.

More than three-fourths of respondents — 77% — said they plan to make renovations this year, up from 73% in 2019. The average amount homeowners plan to spend on the improvements is $11,473 — up 27% from the $9,006.60 homeowners, on average, expected to spend last year.

The increase in home improvements — and the money spent on them — is being led by millennials, defined by Pew Research as those between the ages of 24 and 39 in 2020. In fact, among survey respondents, 92% of millennials planned to make home improvements this year, spending $13,838 on average.

Most popular home improvements

Improvements that benefited the outside of the house were most popular among respondents, with 47% planning outdoor remodels and 45% planning to add or make improvements on decks. Other outdoor improvements included greenhouse/garden remodels (35%) and patios (34%).

When it comes to indoor renovations:

  • 42% plan to remodel their bathrooms
  • 38% plan kitchen upgrades

Concerns about what others think of their homes may be fueling some improvements, as 60% of respondents said they are renovating because they have an area in their home that they would be embarrassed to show first-time guests. Others may be planning improvements because they intend to stay in their houses for the long haul. In fact, 66% of respondents said they plan to live in their current houses for 10 years or more.

The financial cost of renovating

While many homeowners are looking forward to some renovations, 83% of respondents admit that there are areas of their homes that need renovating that they haven’t gotten around to.

A lack of money to complete the project was the top reason for delaying a home improvement job, cited by 46% of respondents.

When it comes to paying for home improvements, most consumers are looking to avoid debt. Nearly two-thirds of respondents — 65% — said they will use their savings to pay for them. Another 33% planned to use credit cards to finance the improvements; however, of those respondents who intend to use credit cards to pay for the home improvements, 19% said they are unsure of how long it would take them to pay the balances off.

There are many benefits to making home improvements. Not only can home improvements increase the value of your house, but they may also lower the cost of your homeowners insurance. If you are thinking about remodeling, do some research to see which improvements will give you the biggest bang for your buck. However, before taking on new debt, make sure you research your options including credit cards with 0% interest promotions, personal loans, home equity loans and home improvement loans.