COVID Fails to Dent ROI, Spirit of America’s Home Improvement Projects

Not even a vicious pandemic can derail America’s love for home redesign, renovation and reinvention.

Whether it be idle time created by COVID-19, a need to escape from the relentless 24/7 COVID-19 bad news feed with an inspiring home project, following through on a spouse’s persistent requests, or to just improve the home quality of life for themselves and their families, Americans are improving their homes in record numbers.

As home prices continue to remain stable or rise in the face of the great COVID-19 recession, more homeowners are choosing to invest in home improvements and renovations. A June Bank of America poll of 1,000 American homeowners found 70 percent were planning to tackle home improvement projects this year, with more planned for 2021. Likewise, a June survey by found that 76 percent of Americans have carried out a home improvement project since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a result of COVID-19 shutdowns that closed offices, businesses, schools and more, self-isolation has forced Americans to take a much closer look at their homes,” said Todd Nelson, senior vice president of strategic partnerships at LightStream, told

Today more than ever, home is where the heart is.

“Although we expect some near-term deceleration as parts of the population go back to their places of business and spend less time at home, COVID-19 could provide a longer-term benefit for home improvement stocks if it ultimately does cause an increase in housing turnover as our survey may suggest,” Elizabeth Suzuki, lead survey analyst of Bank of America’s survey, wrote.

Whether small scale or large scale, DIY or pro’s work, simply repainting a room or gutting an interior, America is investing in the American Dream with passion and precise attention to detail.

“In this housing market, the business of the upkeep, maintenance, and improvement of existing properties flourishes,” Property notes. “Home improvement spending still outpaces home maintenance spending.”

Americans today want homes that are both highly functional and highly individualistic. Today’s Modern American Home has to have its own unique personality.

“American homeowners place a high value on making their homes more beautiful and functional. Self-expression and individuality are increasingly reflected in our physical environments, and cookie-cutter homes are very much out of style,” Property Management notes.

Here are some notes on the current scale of American Home Redesign Projects:

  1. According to Property Management, the bulk of American home redesign projects remain small in scale with an average investment cost of under $5,000. But big projects like kitchen and bathroom remodels remain as popular as ever with most homeowners spending between $5,000 and $10,000 improving their homes in 2018. Densely populated metropolitan areas spent close to $17,000 on average.
  2. In 2018 alone, U.S. home improvement and renovation projects totaled $350 billion, Property Management notes.
  3. Lightstream’s survey found the average budget for an American home improvement project during COVID as $11,851, up slightly from January 2020’s average of $11,473.

Remodeling Magazine pegs the cost-to-value ratio for home projects in 2020 stands at 63.7 percent, down slightly from last year and below the last decade’s high of just over 71 percent. Manufactured stone veneer paces all renovations with a nearly 97 percent return on investment in resale value.

The best news of remodeling during the pandemic is economic downturn so far has not affected home resale values, which a key indicator that home improvement projects completed this year won’t lose their ROI going forward.

So get planning your dream or much-needed home makeover, America.

“When we analyzed month-over-month data (from 2020 compared to 2019), we found that project requests didn’t drop much at all,” marketing manager Taylor Engstrom of the home improvement web site Modernize said. “We understand that homeowners are in their house and thinking of potential projects they’ve been putting off.”

For COVID-19 can’t kill or cancel the American home improvement spirit.

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