Home improvement efforts boomed during the COVID-19 outbreak, as homeowners strived to make their living spaces work for their new way of life. New findings show that these projects will remain popular in the months ahead.
In its latest survey, online home improvement service Modernize looked at how homeowners plan for upcoming home improvement projects, as well as their methods in choosing remodelers and contractors. It revealed that even though many homeowners are still wrapping up a current home improvement project, 41% of them have plans to start a new one before July.
Homeowners seek savings in home improvement projects
About 1 in 5 (21%) respondents started on home improvement projects during the coronavirus pandemic, with many choosing to update high-impact areas like backyards, kitchens, home offices and home gyms. Another 39% said they’re doing so in order to help save money on utility and electric bills.
And with summer just around the corner, this may be why 31% of homeowners currently working on an exterior project with Modernize have plans for an interior remodeling project this year.
As for how much respondents are looking to spend on upcoming interior projects, Modernize found that:
- 71% plan to spend $5,000 or less
- 17% plan to spend more than $10,000
With many looking to spend thousands on home improvement plans, some are looking into financing as a way to break up the costs and make the project a more affordable one. In fact, 31% of survey participants reported plans to finance about half of their project — up from 20% last year.
Respondents spending more time to vet potential contractors
In addition to looking at how homeowners plan to pay for these projects, Modernize shined a light on how they go about choosing a contractor for the task at hand.
"Homeowners are increasingly and more thoroughly doing their homework when searching for contractors," noted Gregg Hicks, the vice president of Modernize, in a statement. "Fifty-six percent (56%) of our homeowners report spending between one and five hours researching their home improvement project, which is up from 53% of respondents in 2020."
In comparison, 1 in 5 homeowners (20%) say they spend no time researching at all. While this may be cause for concern, this number has gone down by 10 percentage points since before the pandemic. This indicates homeowners' renewed focus in getting the most value for their money — especially as many consumers hope to maintain the budgeting and saving habits they picked up during the pandemic.
The Modernize survey also discovered that more than half of respondents (54%) plan on comparing three or more quotes before choosing a contractor for their project. Many homeowners focus on price as the most important factor when choosing an interior remodeler, followed by:
- Online ratings and reviews (26%)
- References (22%)
On the other hand, homeowners want to avoid contractors that display poor communication, as 23% cited a lack of communication as their top reason for not hiring a particular contractor.
Methodology: The Modernize survey includes information on home improvement and home service plans from more than 20,000 consumer and trade surveys done between January and May 2021.