Home Improvement Trends for the Pandemic

Home improvement is the act of renovating or altering the interior or exterior of a residential building. This can include work such as painting, wallpapering, repairing, or replacing fixtures and surfaces. It can also include landscaping, fence construction, or installing a patio or deck. Home improvements may be performed by the homeowner, or by a professional contractor.

Homeowners love improving their homes. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, homeowners increased their remodeling projects by 4% over the previous year. This was partially due to the pandemic, but NAR reported that 83% of those surveyed had already planned to remodel their home regardless of the pandemic. Homeowners want to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes and materials; add features or improve livability; and make their homes more attractive and enjoyable to be in.

Adding new rooms and updating existing ones are popular home improvements that can increase the value of a property. Some projects, such as a new kitchen or bath, can be quite expensive, so it’s important to plan and budget accordingly. Choosing quality materials will help ensure your project lasts for a long time, and will look beautiful as well.

Another way to improve your home’s value is by increasing its energy efficiency. Improvements like new windows, a heat pump or added insulation can decrease energy costs and save you money in the long run. These types of upgrades will also pay for themselves when you sell your home, since potential buyers will be eager to purchase a house that is already saving them money on utility bills.

While many homeowners are focused on making repairs during the pandemic, experts predict that once the epidemic subsides and home prices begin to rebound, homeowners will focus more on cosmetic updates. Some of the most popular projects for 2023 will be repainting, adding curb appeal, and giving a home’s exterior and kitchen a facelift. Experts say that a master suite, media room or outdoor living space can be great additions to a property, but homeowners should carefully consider resale value before investing in these more costly renovations.

In this volatile economic climate, it’s critical to keep a close eye on spending and to avoid projects that won’t be a good return on investment. For instance, don’t get sucked into purchasing the “platinum” options for your kitchen cabinets, because they are likely to be outdated by the time you decide to sell. Likewise, don’t hire contractors who demand large deposits up front or require payment before work begins. Maryland’s Home Improvement Law requires that a contract for home improvement must be in writing and signed by both the consumer and business before any work is done or any money is paid. The contract should have the business name, address, MHIC number and the agreed upon price clearly printed on it. If you are unsure of whether a particular contract meets the requirements of Maryland’s Home Improvement Law, contact your local MHIC office.