Remodeling? Lifestyle Trumps Profit
While many remodeling projects add important value to a home, the No. 1 reason to renovate is to improve your daily living environment.
According to a survey conducted by Houzz, an online platform for home design and remodeling, among homeowners planning to build, remodel or decorate in the next two years, 86 percent cited “improving the look and feel of the space” as an important driver for remodeling projects, while only 47 percent cited “increasing home value.” The gap between these priorities was consistent across all income levels and demographic groups.
Homeowners say they are more likely to cut back in other areas, such as vacations and other big-ticket purchases, than to delay or decrease the budget for their home improvement plans.
Seventy percent of respondents said they would rather cut back elsewhere or do some of the work themselves than take out a loan to finance their home improvement. Even upscale homeowners are taking a hands-on approach to building, remodeling and decorating projects. The survey found that while 45 percent of homeowners at upper income levels ($150,000+) are choosing to hire an architect, interior designer, general contractor or another remodeling or decorating professional to complete a project in its entirety, an equal number of them are combining professional help and DIY efforts, a proportion only slightly smaller than the 49 percent taking this combination approach in lower income brackets.
According to the survey, kitchens and bathrooms are the most popular remodeling projects, with 48 percent of respondents planning a bathroom remodel, and 45 percent redoing a kitchen in the next two years. An added bonus, these two projects always add value to your home, allowing you to recoup costs if and when you sell.
Other interesting findings from the survey include:
- In the next two years, 72 percent of homeowners surveyed plan to decorate or redecorate, 40 percent plan to remodel or construct an addition, while 10 percent are planning to build a custom home.
- 57 percent of homeowners planning to complete a project in the next two years will hire a general contractor, 35 percent a kitchen or bath professional and 32 percent will hire a carpet or flooring professional. Thirty percent are planning to hire an architect, 26 percent an interior designer and 24 percent a landscape architect or designer.
- About half—52 percent—say they will save money by completing some projects themselves.
- The largest projects in terms of average spend in the last five years were custom home builds ($577,000), complete home remodels ($193,000), pool additions or replacements ($34,000) and kitchen remodels ($25,000).