During the COVID-19 pandemic, many homeowners turned to home improvement projects as a way to better fit their changing needs without having to buy a new place. And while these renovations aimed to serve their present needs, a new report suggests that they're looking to make improvements on a grander scale with their next project.
Manufacturing company 3M found in its 2021 Home Renovation Study that about 7 in 10 U.S. homeowners believe that eco-friendly construction materials benefit the environment (74%). Perhaps as a result, 70% of homeowners plan on purchasing eco-friendly materials for their next renovation.
More homeowners prioritizing eco-friendly materials in their renovation projects
A recent survey from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery revealed that 64% of Americans updated a part of their home during the coronavirus pandemic. The 3M survey showed similar findings, with many respondents taking on:
- Interior projects (53%)
- Outdoor projects (24%)
- Exterior projects (23%)
Homeowners took a variety of approaches to completing their home renovation, with nearly half of respondents (46%) exclusively using contractors to achieve their goals. Others took the DIY route (29%) or a blend of the two (25%).
However, a different survey from Coldwell Banker showed that more than a quarter (28%) of homeowners who want to renovate their property are unsure what projects will bring them the greatest value. Perhaps this is why so many of them are turning to greener builds and incorporating eco-friendly materials in their next home upgrade.
For instance, 45% of homeowners reported using eco-friendly materials for their recent renovation, while nearly all homeowners (90%) between 18 and 40 years old said they'd consider them for their next project.
And while just over half (56%) agree that all products should have an eco-friendly component, many seem to understand that this is easier said than done. Respondents suggested that implementing the following strategies would make it easier for them to choose eco-friendly products in the future:
- Equal pricing
- Greater availability
- Detailed comparison against non-green alternatives
Respondents can be influenced by values of their loved ones
Interestingly, 3M also discovered that homeowner sentiments can be influenced by the people around them: 52% of respondents said they'd be more interested in eco-friendly measures if their friends and family members were using them too.
"Essentially, what homeowners say and do highly impacts those in their circle of influence," says Josh Orman, senior manager of business development at 3M. "Consider the positive ripple effect of homeowners making eco-friendly choices that educate and influence their friends and family in the process."
3M's findings indicate that at least some homeowners are already thinking about sustainable living — the survey found that, according to respondents, the biggest activities that will improve the environment include:
- Recycling and reducing waste
- Choosing materials with recycled content or plant-based materials
- Using renewable energy as a power source
- Offering more eco-friendly products
- Selecting energy-efficient products
Methodology: 3M conducted an online survey of 1,585 American homeowners between March and April 2021. All respondents had joint or full responsibility for home decisions, and either started or completed a home renovation project between May 2020 and April 2021.
The demographics of the survey sample reflect the general homeowner population over the age of 18.