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As the country continues to emerge from the restrictions of COVID-19, people are  realizing that their house has become more than just a home for many. It’s become an office, a school, a gym and so much more. Because of that, homeowners are looking differently at renovations to make their homes more conducive to those trends moving forward.

According to Porch.com, a Better Business Bureau accredited business, 76% of homeowners in the United States have carried out at least one home improvement project since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those improvement projects range from touchups and new roofs to massive remodels and full-on reconstruction projects, according to the study done by Porch.com.

In a recent study conducted by Minneapolis-based marketing firm Axiom, more than 90 percent of consumers surveyed said they plan to spend as much or more time on home projects this year compared to last year.

Stacy Einck, building products practice lead at Axiom, said continued growth in home improvement popularity is a positive sign for the industry.

Forty-four percent of surveyors said they were planning more complex projects in 2021, while 40 percent answered maybe and only 16 percent said they were not planning for more difficult projects.

Einck said the survey results show that many people plan to make renovations to their outdoor spaces the most.

According to the survey, 31 percent are saying they intend to work on their outdoor area. Twenty-five percent said they plan on fixing or building a deck/patio.  At-home entertainment areas have been in increased demand with bars and restaurants shut down, at times, during the pandemic.

“Use of space has shifted,” Einck said. “We’re hearing of more multi-use space and building out nooks in unexpected places for work and study. As people adapt their current living space, the idea of moving becomes less and less likely.”

According to the quarter two Houzz Renovation Barometer, which tracks residential renovation market experiences, project backlogs and recent activity among businesses in the nation’s construction, architectural and design services, market conditions remain “strong,” while “diminishing the uncertainty experienced by residential remodeling and design businesses just one year ago.” `

Houzz, based in Palo Alto, California, provides the best experience for home renovation and design while connecting homeowners and home professionals with the best tools, resources, and vendors.

“Following a busy first quarter, businesses are faced with soaring homeowner demand along with lengthy permitting timelines, supply chain constraints and unrelenting labor shortages,” said Marine Sargsyan, senior economist for Houzz.

Sargsyan went on to say that supply chain restraints are contributing significantly to industry wide wait times of more than two months before a contractor can even begin a new project.

But with new opportunities come new challenges, according to the BBB.

“The COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shut down worksites, led to massive material shortages, increased unemployment, and impacted consumer confidence. Despite the hardships, many successful companies persevered by embracing trust, integrity, and transparency,” their report reads.

Home renovation and design businesses continue to adapt to post COVID-19 protocols. These include:

  • Adopting online invoicing and payments
  • Implementing video consultations, new safety guidelines at the office and worksite and remote collaboration tools
  • New safety guidelines, online product sourcing and digital tools for document and contract approvals

The BBB is warning anyone looking to make home improvements to be weary of shotty contractors.

  • Research and gather information
  • Ask for references
  • Ask for multiple quotes
  • Get it in writing
  • Verify license and insurance
  • Confirm building permits
  • Arrange a payment schedule
  • Get a receipt
  • Keep your contract

For more information, you can go to the Better Business Bureau at: BBB.org.

Photo by Rene Asmussen from Pexels

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