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Americans Stuck at Home Keep Remodeling

People stuck looking at the same four walls are changing the walls – and floors, bathrooms and bedrooms. They’re also starting new projects, such as adding office space.

CHICAGO – People are still investing in home upgrades during the pandemic, which helps sustain the remodeling industry and they’re undertaking new projects or modifying ongoing ones.

For instance, more people now want home offices for remote work, learning spaces for online classes, bigger kitchens and more space in general.

A Houzz survey found that more than half of homeowners who were in the middle of renovations when the coronavirus crisis was declared a pandemic on March 11 went ahead with their projects – only 1% of those mid-project canceled work.

In the same survey, almost 80% of respondents were “dreaming” about launching home projects that would let them enjoy their homes more. Their top priorities were outdoor amenities, new bathrooms and remodeled kitchens. Of those dreamers, nine out of 10 intend to do so after the pandemic subsides.

Contractors say their more affluent clients are going ahead with plans, while those with lower incomes are postponing or canceling remodeling projects, at least for now.

“Things are not as terrible as we were thinking,” says Paul Emrath, an economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). However, the outlook for the rest of the year largely depends on whether the pandemic is contained.

NAHB anticipates that remodeling sales will rebound to 2019 levels by the beginning of 2021.

Source: Realtor.com (06/24/20) Witt, Louise

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