With DIY ideas and inspirations flooding social media platforms, more homeowners are motivated to roll up their sleeves (or hire home renovation contractors) and make some changes in their homes. These changes are geared towards transforming the houses into the houses of their dreams. However, the designs, inspirations, and trends are constantly changing – fast. As such, it is important that you are plugged in and know what’s trending and what’s not. In this piece, we shall take some time to review some of the statistics and trends in home renovation.
1. The Average Renovation Expenditure is $15,000
According to Houzz, the average home renovation spend is $15,000. However, they do not disprove the fact that there are homeowners who spend $85,000 and above in home renovations. But these are the 10% exceptional high spenders and are not the norm.
The average spend of $15,000 was on all kinds of home improvements including decorating, renovating and repairing. Of the three activities, the most popular is decorating at 65%, followed by renovations at 58% and lastly repairs at 52%.
Homeowners are expected to continue or even start on home renovations with a $10,000 budget. Given the consistency experience in 2015, 2016, and 2017, it’s safe to say that the home improvement industry will have a great year.
2. Recent Home Buyers are more likely to Renovate
Truth be told, it’s difficult to find a home that has all the qualities you’d like in your dream home. Many home buyers are forced to settle for the basics and add in the perks themselves later on. According to Houzz, the percentage of recent home buyers who renovate their ew’ homes within the same year of purchase has increased from 12.2% in 2015.
It’s also worth noting that a percentage of recent home buyers are first-time home buyers who don’t have prior knowledge and experience with home renovations. This means that they are more likely to make renovation mistakes in comparison to repeat buyers or even long term homeowners.
3. Renovations Due To Pent-Up Drive Continue To Take a Dive
What this means is that fewer homeowners are dipping their feet into home renovations just because they have been meaning to do so all along. The numbers dipped from 59% to 56% from 2015 to 2017. But even so, this drive is still a main contributing factor to home renovations. On the flip side, the increased buying and selling activities are expected to continually cause an increase in renovation activity as has been the case since 2015.
Additionally, the increased damage as a result of natural disasters caused an increase in home renovations from 4% to 6%.
4. Homeowners are more Intentional with Their Renovation Budgets
For a long time, homeowners have been taking up home renovation projects without defining their budget limits. However, according to Houzz, more and more home renovators are seeing the need for setting renovation budgets.
Think about this, the percentage of homeowners likely to set a budget increased by 12% from 2015 to 2017. Also, the percentage of renovators who actually set budgets increased from 69% to 77% within the same period.
But here’s the thing, though it might not seem like it, creating a budget is the easy part of any renovation project. It’s sticking to it part that is most challenging for many.
5. Homeowners Continue to Surpass Their Budgets
Implementing home renovation ideas on a budget is no easy task. It requires a lot of discipline and dedication, especially when you can afford to go all out on the project. Now, according to Houzz, homeowners blame their inability to work within their set budget on the cost of materials and products.
But upon further digging, the major reasons for surpassing the budget are:
• Deciding to purchase expensive materials and products than previously budgeted for
• The services and products were expensive than expected
• The homeowner decided to change the scope of the project and its design midway
• The project turned out to be more complicated than anticipated
• The homeowner discovered some underlying construction issues that needed immediate attention before proceeding with the renovation as planned
6. Homeowners Continue to Fund the Renovation Projects in Cash
If you are planning to do some home renovation NJ in the near future, you probably are thinking of the best way to fund the project. Well, most homeowners prefer doing it from in cash and/or using their savings. Actually, 85% of homeowners prefer doing it this way. But is this the only way you can fund your home renovation project? Of course, not. There are other options, including using a credit card or taking out a loan on your home’s value.
According to Houzz, these options have 33% and 11% popularity respectively. However, you should bear in mind that these options are dependent on the length of time you’ve had your home. With this fact in mind, first-time home buyers tend to use credit cards to finance their renovation projects.
7. San Jose is the biggest Renovation spender
San Jose has been the top renovation spender for quite some time. It comes out ahead of cities like New York, Miami, Boston, San Francisco, Houston, and Seattle. On average, San Jose homeowners spend between $30,000 and $34,000 in their projects.
8. Spending is Even Higher Along the Coasts
Though the median home renovation expenditure varies greatly from city to city, Houzz noticed a trend with the coastal cities like Seattle, New York, and Miami. They collectively have higher expenditure in comparison to other cities in the US. Columbus comes in at the 50th position with an average spend of about $10,000.
9. Natural Disasters Contribute to Home Renovations
Generally, the amount of money homeowners spend remains constant with only slight fluctuations every passing year. But this is true for cities that have relatively good weather and climate. For those that are hit by natural disasters – cities like Houston and Los Angeles – experience huge fluctuations year over year.
For instance, Houston experience a spike in renovation expenditure from $15,000 to $24,000 between 2016 and 2017 as a result of recovery efforts carried out after hurricane Harvey. On the other hand, Los Angeles experienced a 25% spike, which was attributed to the response actions to the wildfires it sustained during the 2016-2017 period.
10. System Upgrades
There’s no doubt that energy efficiency is the in thing. And there are tons of reasons why homeowners should make improvements to make their homes energy-efficient. At the top of the list is savings on monthly bills. Though homeowners could settle for minor replacements like switching to energy saving light bulbs, more and more are up for making huge leaps and system changes. These include renovating the plumbing system, the HVAC system, installing solar panels and energy efficient windows.
But at the same time, homeowners are advised to stay away from changing their home appliances and accessories. The thought process behind this is that different home buyers have different tastes. As such, your dream laundry machine may not be it for your buyer. Heck, they may even have plans of bringing their own. With this, homeowners shouldn’t assume that getting energy efficient appliances will improve their home’s value.
Now, according to Houzz, homeowners who renovated their home systems increased from 61% to 64% between 2015 and 2017. The trend is expected to continue.
11. Master Bathroom Popularity is growing by the Day
When homeowners first decide to renovate and remodel their homes, the first places they’d love to touch up are the kitchen and bathrooms. However, in the case of bathrooms, guest bathroom renovations surpassed that of the master bedroom.
But, things are changing. You see, most homeowners are looking to replicate the atmosphere indulgence (the kind only found in day spas) in their homes – the master bedrooms to be precise. The remodeling projects are only limited by their budget, imagination, and inspiration. Nonetheless, we are starting to see more luxury being incorporated into master bathroom designs.
The percentage of homeowners ready to take on master bathroom renovations have increased from 22% to 24%. On the flip side, though recent homebuyers are generally eager to take on kitchen renovations in comparison to long term homeowners, first-time buyers have an even higher propensity to tackle kitchen renovations than repeat buyers.
12. Security Gets Tighter
Automation is slowly (but surely) turning into a lifestyle. Most homeowners are shifting from hidden keys to more automated security systems that are more realistic. Some of the upgrades considered include connected bulbs, detectors and sensors everywhere you go.
The continued improvement of smartphone technology makes home monitoring a breeze through an app.
Speaking of app-based systems, their popularity is expected to continue on an upward trajectory based on the convenience and advantages they offer. And given the fact that the app technology can evolve to meet future needs, it is a plus to all homeowners. Which parent doesn’t love the convenience of being able to unlock the front door for their kids once they get home from school while still having all other security features active?
According to Houzz, the percentage of homeowners conducting security renovations to integrate current home security systems increased from 10% to 15%. On the flip side, automated devices, including lights and thermostats continue to gain traction albeit at a slow rate. But generally, home security upgrades have increased significantly in the past couple of years and the trend is expected to continue.
13. Exterior Upgrades Continue to Feature in Popular Home Improvement Magazines
Exterior upgrades are thought of as being the most important piece to increasing a home’s value. However, this is not always true. There are some instances where an exterior home renovation will do nothing to improve your home’s value. Though there is an emerging trend of homeowners (long term homeowners as you’ll see) favoring exterior upgrades, they are encouraged to consider the ROI (return on investment) before investing a dime.
Some of the upgrades that have proven to have a high ROI include;
• Exterior paint
• New siding
• Outdoor kitchen
• Replacing garage doors
• Installing fire pits
The number of homeowners who have taken up an exterior painting project has increased from 18% to 21% between 2015 and 2017. Those who have done their siding have increased from 8% to 10% and those who have done their decks have increased from 13% to 15%.
Some of the exterior renovation trends and ideas that have been seen include:
• Dark paint colors
• Painted break
14. Outdoors Become a Focal Point
The outside is just as important as the inside and more homeowners are coming to this realization. To this effect, outdoor upgrades are more popular now than they have ever have been. 15% of homeowners have conducted upgrades to their fences and patios, while 24% have improved on their lawns (these statistics are as at 2017).
It’s also worth pointing out that outdoor security has improved to 9%, while shed and workshop upgrades have shot to a whopping 10%.
15. Master Bathroom and Kitchen Upgrades Deliver a Return on Investment
For many homeowners, improving their home’s functionality and design is far more important than improving the home’s resale value (unless they are planning to sell in the near future).
However, there have been some developments on this front. The current renovation trend has homeowners killing two birds with one stone.
How so? Well, renovating homeowners (every 4 in 5), report that their master bathroom and kitchen upgrades translated into a positive ROI when it came to selling their house.
Master bathroom renovations give a positive ROI of 81% of the time while kitchen renovations give a bettter ROI of 81% of the time.
16. Kitchen Expenditure Spikes
If you intend to take on a full-blown kitchen renovation this year, you need to pay attention to the prevailing kitchen trends. By this, we don’t mean the styling points like matching faucets and handles (since these change very fast and are easier to change when you feel the need to). We mean aligning yourself to long term trends that will increase your home’s value over time.
The first trend you can consider implementing is making kitchen adjustments that will improve its functionality and make it easier to use as you age. Such renovations include replacing some of the raised surfaces with lower counters for snacking on the islands. You can also add roll-out trays to pantry cabinets and under cabinet lighting for brighter surfaces. Moreover, you can install a French style door opening as opposed to the standard model design and even widen the work and walk aisles for the future walker or wheelchair use.
At first glance, these renovations may seem to be at the expense of style and beauty. But if you put your creative cap on, they don’t have to be.
In addition to the above, installing Quartz countertops from companies like Caesarstone, Cambria and Silestone may be a huge plus.
Speaking of which, more homeowners are gravitating towards engineered countertops as opposed to natural stones. Why is this? Well, engineered quartz requires lesser maintenance in comparison to natural stones. Additionally, they come with multiple year warranties.
And while we are on engineered products, we should also point out that natural hardwood floors are slowly losing their popularity to engineered floor products as they are more cost effective and easier to install.
Given the above trends, it is expected that the cost of kitchen remodeling will continue to grow. According to Houzz, kitchen remodel spends increased from $10,000 to $11,000 in two years. A large portion of this increase is driven by increased expenditure on the large kitchen renovations.
17. Master Bedroom Renovation Skyrockets
The master bedroom is more than a place where homeowners go to sleep. With a little bit of style and creativity, the bedroom can be converted into a luxurious sanctuary that relaxes you from the fatigue accumulated throughout the day. Simple things like replacing the furniture to replacing the carpet can make the space look even more exciting and relaxing.
Overall, the cost to renovate the master bedroom breaks down to the features you’d want to include. Some simple transformations like adding new sheets and curtains are relatively cheap while adding a built-in closet will cost you a pretty penny.
With regards to trends, homeowners are moving towards simple, yet elegant designs and picking warmer colors to light up the room.
Overall, homeowners are spending more on master bedroom renovations than they were a couple of years back. Between 2016 and 2017, there was a 33% increase in expenditure. It increased from $1500 to $2000.
18. Long-term Homeowners Hire Pros
Despite the numerous DIY videos, and blogs on the internet, many homeowners are starting to see the benefit of hiring professionals to handle their renovations. This is mostly because many of the renovations are technical and skill specific like interior systems renovations and the like.
According to Houzz, hiring a home remodeling contractor, NJ increases as a result of increased reliance on professionals by long-term homeowners. But even then, research shows that repeat home buyers are more likely to hire a professional than long-term homeowners and first- time buyers.
19. Reliance on Specialized Professionals Continues
As homeowners lean towards hiring professionals for their home renovation projects, they hire specialists as opposed to general contractors. This means that service providers like painters and electricians are in increasing in demand. This is because part of the home renovation trends includes renovating the interior and exterior home systems like HVAC systems, security systems, water and lighting systems.
These renovations require professionals (specialized professionals at that), to complete successfully. And with the changing technologies in these areas, it’s difficult for homeowners to handle the renovations as DIYs.
According to Houzz, electricians are the most in-demand specialists followed by HVAC contractors and plumbers at 20%, 19%, and 18% respectively.
20. Construction Managers are Losing Demand
Generally, the hiring of construction managers, including general builders and contractors, bath and kitchen remodels were on a 3% decline as at 2017 from 2016. But why the decline if kitchen and bathroom renovations are on the rise? Well, this decline was registered mainly because general contractors are not getting hired as often as they were a few years back.
The construction and labor market is quite tight and competitive. So much so that locating a general contractor is a difficult process.
21. Design Professionals aren’t Getting Hired
This might come as a shock to many, especially because home renovations are mainly design work. But here’s the thing – design work is being converted into DIY projects by many homeowners.
Additionally, techpreneurs have come up with lots of web applications, which make the design process easier even for beginners and newbies in the industry. These applications and systems help homeowners pick color schemes, drag and drop the overall bathroom and kitchen designs at a fraction of the cost of hiring a design professional like an architect, a bath and kitchen designer and an interior designer.
Overall, in 2017, there was a 2% hiring decrease between 2015 and 2016.
While embarking on a home renovation project is great, you ought to weigh your options and see what would work best for you. Always remember that what may work for one individual does not necessarily have to work for the other. That’s why we are emphasizing that no one home renovation project fits all. The trends that we have outlined above are general and do not dictate the path you should take with your renovation project. It’s merely designed to show you where the world is gravitating towards so that you can better align yourself for the future and protect yourself from making costly mistakes. This means that every decision you make boils down to you, depending on your choices and preferences, and most importantly, your budget.
If you are a first time home buyer, be sure to do your research adequately before undertaking any home remodeling NJ project. Also, if you are a long-term homeowner, makes sure that you do your due diligence to find out the ROI of the renovation project you have in mind.
Remember, you don’t want to price your house out of the market. So be modest and intentional with your renovation plans. After all, no amount of preparation in the world will help you sell an overpriced home.