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74 Percent of Homeowners Will Renovate in 2021

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Will You Be One of Them?

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2021 Renovation Inclination: Almost three-quarters of homeowners are planning home improvements this year

The above headline quotes a HomeStars recent survey conducted with 733 Canadian homeowners from March 2 – March 15, 2021.

HomeStars, based in Ontario, connects homeowners with trusted home service professionals. In 2020, 9 million homeowners visited HomeStars looking for a pro for their next home improvement project.

Why are so many renovating now?

It’s pretty obvious why John and I renovate. We love it. But not everybody is as enthusiastic about renovating as we are. So why is it so popular right now?

The COVID culprit

In a nutshell, the pandemic has kept us all inside staring at our same walls for the last year-plus. For many, those walls have felt like they were closing in on us.

Shir Magen, CEO of HomeStars, says

“With all this extra time at home, Canadians are investing in their spaces by making repairs, adding functionality, or simply to ‘spark joy’ in the new normal we’re living in.”

According to the survey:

  • 29% cited the reason for renovating was to enjoy their outdoor space now that they are spending more time at home.
  • 14% of homeowners said since they weren’t spending on vacations, they would invest the money in home renovations and repairs.
  • 6% planned to spend money on improving their work from home and homeschooling space.

Breaking down the dollars

In regard to anticipated spend, small repairs (those under $1,000) and large jobs over $50,000 were the least popular. The top budget ranges were:

  • $1,000 – $10,000 for 46% of respondents (essentially the cost of an annual family vacation)
  • $10,000 – $25,000 for 24% of respondents
  • $25,000 – $50,000 among 11% of respondents

A TD Bank Ipsos poll conducted last September reflects the same message.

The poll found that since the start of the pandemic, Canadians are upgrading their homes to accommodate their new behaviours.

“Canadians are re-evaluating the way they live; looking for unique ways to incorporate home offices, classrooms, and gyms into their existing spaces as COVID carries on,” says Jared Jarman, Associate Vice President, Specialized Advice, Acquisition at TD.

The rub

Across North America, new build and renovation material costs have skyrocketed. Lumber and steel prices have soared.

Demand – with accompanying cost increases – for materials derived from the forestry sector is driven by an upsurge in single-family home building and heightened enthusiasm for renovation projects. The three lumber-related curves in the graph below have broken above previous peaks recorded over the last 20 years.

PPI chart for lumber, plywood, OSB and gypsum
Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Producer Price Index (PPI) series, not seasonally adjusted (NSA).

According to CTV News, a survey of contractors carried out last month suggests other material supply problems that could cause significant price increases for consumers.

The materials most affected by supply issues are, in order:

  • doors and windows
  • lumber
  • plywood
  • roof trusses
  • joists
  • engineered wood products
  • plumbing items

The solution

First and foremost we would suggest planning way ahead. Expect long delays in receiving orders so you aren’t disappointed when items are late.

If you aren’t doing the work yourself, be sure your contractor or subcontractor is transparent and clear about the bid deadline and any price adjustment clauses.

Repair, repaint and repurpose

Desperate times call for desperate measures, as they say.

Why not recycle older material during your renovation?

Repairing, repainting, and repurposing what you have will not only save you time and money but is better for the environment. Win-win.

74 percent will renovate this year

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