Home Improvement, DIY Likely to Be Habits With Staying Power

September 16, 2020

Home improvement has become a big buzzword in the pandemic—and it’s a trend that will likely stick around following the pandemic.

Big box retailers, like Home Depot and Lowe’s, have seen a significant boost in demand for supplies as homeowners have rushed in to spruce up their nests during the COVID-19 outbreak.

And it doesn’t look like they’re running out of projects yet. More than 88% of 1,000 consumers recently surveyed by Wells Fargo say they expected to increase their retail spending in the second half of the year on items such as appliances and electronics. Home improvement was the biggest category for expected spending.

Both recent moves and continued additional time at home are motivating factors to tackle home improvement. About 14% of respondents said they have recently moved or have plans to move due to the pandemic. Further, more than half reported they expect to work from home into 2021.

Home Depot CEO Craig Menear recently said during a second-quarter earnings call that consumers likely will continue to do DIY projects over the long term as they get comfortable making repairs around the house and completing more projects on their own, like painting. Also, as people spend more time at home, that is leading to more wear and tear on appliances, which will then need to be replaced too.

Some of the most popular house projects during the pandemic have targeted outdoor spaces, such as new decks or patios, pools, and fences, according to a survey from Houzz, a home improvement website. Kitchen and bath remodels also have been popular, seeing a 40% jump in demand in June compared to a year ago, Houzz reports.

Homeowners are investing a lot more money in their upgrades too, taking on bigger and pricier projects. A separate survey from Porch.com, another home remodeling website, found that 1,000 homeowners surveyed this summer spent a median of $17,140 on improving their homes since the pandemic began. They did an average of five improvement projects per household.

Forty-four percent of respondents say they plan to do more too, particularly in regards to adding more tech improvements to their home. Survey respondents shared a desire to install security cameras, smart lights, or smart doorbells. Also, 34% wanted to add more environmentally friendly upgrades, such as adding solar panels, starting a compost heap, or installing solar-powered water heating systems.