Homeowners have been busy sprucing up their properties during the pandemic. Even as the year winds down, their desires aren’t fading. More than 70% of U.S. homeowners recently surveyed say they are planning or considering a home renovation project before the end of the year, according to a survey from Dewalt, a tool manufacturer and Stanley Black & Decker brand. They’re focused on bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, porches, patios, decks, and landscaping projects in that order, the survey shows.
But finding a contractor to help do the job has become a pressing challenge. Also, material shortages abound. Both issues are delaying many projects and making them more expensive.
Eighty-four percent of consumers surveyed say they plan to use a professional contractor for their project. But more than half of survey respondents—56%—who’ve reached out to a contractor say they were told they’d have to wait at least three months for work to start.
The contractors most in demand are electricians, flooring installers, plumbers, window contractors, and structural work contractors, the Dewalt survey finds.
Why Renovations Are Growing
Home renovations are being motivated for multiple reasons, from making homeowners happier with their current home to adding extra space to even make a home more sellable.
“In the short term, many homeowners who deferred projects—both large and small—in 2020 are expected to complete those renovations once the pandemic is over,” Kermit Baker, director of the remodeling futures program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies, said in a report this spring, Improving America Housing 2021. “Additionally, there has been an upturn in homeownership as younger households look to purchase homes, the number of multigenerational households has been growing, and remote work has given people more locational flexibility and the desire to modify their homes.”
Many recent renovations also are being driven by natural disasters, too, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. The U.S. had 22 disasters that caused a record high of $1 billion or more in damages last year.