It’s a telling sign. In the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, The Home Depot saw a 23.4 percent increase in comparable sales from the same period in 2019. The pandemic has created a boom in home remodeling, as homeowners look to make their spaces more functional and aesthetically appealing. They are spending more time there, after all.
In a Porch survey, more than 75 percent of consumers said they plan to take on a new project within the next 12 months. Record-high equity is giving homeowners the financial flexibility and confidence to reinvest in their homes as real estate prices increase amid record-low interest rates.
From creating relaxing outdoor spaces to taking on pool projects, updating bathrooms and kitchens to just refreshing the paint job, local contractors are finding their schedules booked solid for weeks or months.
FishHawk resident and realtor Iris Green tackled a huge remodeling project during the pandemic.
“My husband and I had decided that our current home was going to be our home in retirement, so we went ahead with projects to give it a refresh,” said Green.
As they spent more time at home during the summer, they realized there were glaring issues, both in maintenance and aesthetic, that needed to be addressed. After a kitchen renovation, they painted the interior, replaced the roof, renovated both bathrooms, installed plantation shutters, updated interior lighting and added custom millwork to the walls in the dining room and breakfast bar. They are waiting on a permit to install a whole home generator.
These projects wouldn’t have happened as quickly without the pandemic.
“Because of COVID, we had the time to be at home and give contractors access,” said Green.
Green is pleased with the final result. “It’s exactly what I wanted and ended up being cheaper than buying a new home right now,” she said.
While Green’s updates were driven by her desire to retire in her current home, homeowners are also updating to make their homes more attractive to prospective buyers.
“People are taking a close look at their homes and deciding that renovation is the right move,” said realtor Brenda Wade. “People always want to buy a home that has been renovated as opposed to purchasing it and then having to get to work with extensive remodeling.”
Wade said new homeowners sometimes have the vision, but not the money.
Occasionally, simple updates like a fresh coat of neutral interior paint and some new landscaping can make a big impact.
“You want your home to have a broad appeal and be attractive to a wide range of homebuyers,” said Wade.
Regardless of motivation, whether to sell or for personal enjoyment, people are taking notice of the projects around the house and starting to consider and compare options.