Home Improvement – A Multibillion-Dollar Industry

Home improvement is the process of improving or repairing one’s home. It includes a wide range of projects and activities, such as installing kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, flooring and furniture, painting, staining or polishing woodwork, building a deck, adding landscaping, replacing windows and doors, and making electrical, plumbing and HVAC improvements.

The home improvement industry is a multibillion-dollar market that has seen exceptional growth in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when consumers shifted their spending to DIY and home improvement projects. It encompasses the sale of building materials, decor items and appliances to facilitate home renovation projects and other related activities.

When homeowners decide to do a home improvement project, they must determine whether it will make their homes more livable or increase their resale value. This decision often depends on a number of factors, including their time horizon for living in the current home and how they want their home to look. Many homeowners may also consider the amount of money they will save by doing the project themselves, versus paying a contractor to do it for them.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, a well-planned home improvement project can add both style and value to a house. However, it is important to plan projects carefully and consult with a qualified designer before starting work. This will help ensure that the final product is exactly what the homeowner envisioned and can be constructed within their budget.

The most popular home improvement project is kitchen remodeling, followed by adding a new bathroom, upgrading floors and paint, and replacing doors and windows. However, the most expensive home improvement project is adding a primary suite (a master bedroom, walk-in closet and bathroom). Adding this feature can greatly increase a home’s resale value.

However, many homeowners are hesitant to undertake major projects during these uncertain times. A recent NerdWallet survey found that only 42% of homeowners who completed a home improvement project in the past two years were able to pay for it without tapping into savings or going into debt. This is likely because many homeowners are worried about their financial futures, unsure about what the housing market will do and/or are concerned that a recession could be on the horizon.

Despite the economic uncertainty, most homeowners are still planning to do at least some home improvement projects in the near future. The most commonly cited reasons for these plans include making their home more comfortable (54%), enhancing its curb appeal (48%), and improving the energy efficiency of their homes (39%). However, just 20% of homeowners planning home improvement projects report that they will do so to make their homes more appealing to potential buyers.