According to a USA Today home improvement site sponsored by Lennox, the psychology behind home remodeling has changed. People are no longer looking at their homes as a temporary investment. People are staying put and thinking more about livability and personal preference when it comes to renovations.
Wendy Koch of USA Today reports, “Home remodeling is expected to pick up and post solid growth in the second half of this year, making 2012 the strongest year since 2006, according to the remodeling futures program at Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. Driving the market will be midsize kitchen and bath projects, maintenance work and energy-efficiency upgrades.” In fact, The National Association of Home Builders reports Americans are spending more on remodeling than new construction now.
Another interesting trend, according to USA Today, is that homeowners are no longer paying for renovations with home equity loans. Instead, many Americans are paying with cash. As a result, homeowners are more value-oriented and that means projects tend to be smaller and more focused.
Better Homes and Gardens magazine recently released a reader survey which found 61% of consumers said getting the most bang for their buck was important. In last year’s survey results, only 56% had said that. Slightly more readers this year also said they are willing to spend extra time looking for bargains.
The survey also found consumers are most interested in style upgrades to countertops, flooring, faucets and fixtures, followed by general maintenance, decor updates, efficiency and home organization.
Following these trends, USA Today has established a website specifically to help guide homeowners through the renovation process. The site, called “Renewal: It Starts at Home”, is currently on week three of its six week series. The first three weeks covered renovation trends, choosing a contractor, and the kitchen. The next three installments will cover bathrooms, the yard, and the exterior. It’s a great site that combines helpful tips and real life stories about renovation. It offers great ideas you might want to incorporate into your own renovations and even has photos of real projects so you can realistically see what to expect as part of the process.