Experts' CornerMaintenance, Repair & Operations

There’s No Place Like Home

“There’s no place like home.”  Who could ever forget those few simple, emotional words spoken by Dorothy, in the now classic 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz. Fast forward to 2023 and that same sentiment aptly describes how millions of millennials and baby boomers feel about the homes they’ve purchased, occupy and maintain. Even though home ownership entails devoting a significant amount of time and money to do-it-yourself projects or more complex renovations managed by a pro, ownership continues to be the American dream.

So much so, that fewer people are selling their homes and more of them have decided to invest money to stay where they are and age in place. This is true for both baby boomers and millennials. It’s just one of the many insights that came to light during the 2018 LightStream Home Improvement Survey. Unlike a few years ago, when people upgraded to sell their homes, they are now making home improvements to “prepare my home so I can stay as I get older.”

Digging Deep to Get the Facts
This annual report asks homeowners about renovations plans, budgets and their levels of involvement with accomplishing the projects. By all indications, homeowners are feeling good about the economy and are ready to spend. According to the survey, forty-five percent of respondents plan to spend $5,000 or more on projects—an all-time high. Additionally, the number of homeowners planning to spend more than $35,000 doubled from the number previously reported in 2017.

Willing to Do the Work
Of particular note is the fact that sixty-five percent of homeowners plan to do some of the work themselves and thirty-five percent say they’ll complete the project on their own without any assistance. Homeowners ages 18-34 are big DIYers—70 percent plan to work on a portion of the renovation. These are the most popular projects:

  • 43% Outdoor
  • 31% Bathroom Remodel
  • 26% Kitchen Remodel
  • 28% Home Repair
  • 16% Garage
  • 5% Pool

Thanks to the staycation trend, outdoor projects such as decks, patio and landscaping remains strong.

The Deciding Factors: Do-it-yourself or Hire a Pro
There are a variety of reasons why homeowners opt to complete project themselves or hire a professional to manage the job. Based on survey results, here’s what homeowners had to say:

  • 35 percent plan to do-it-themselves because it is more cost effective, gives them a sense of satisfaction, or they know how to do the project because they’ve done it before.
  • 36 percent plan to hire a professional because they don’t have the skills or equipment, want a positive outcome, or value the expertise offered by a pro.
  • 30 percent plan to work on the project themselves with support from a professional since they can do the finishing work.

Whether you operate a small hardware store or a big home improvement center, the 2018 LightStream Home Improvement Survey results are good news for retailers in this industry. Fifty-eight percent of homeowners are excited about buying products to make their homes comfortable and attractive. Plus, they’re willing to invest the time to get the job done alone or with the help of a pro. People are feeling sentimental about what they’ve accomplished and continue to believe, “there’s no place like home.”

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