Home Renovations: A Time-Sensitive Proposition


A recent study by Angi of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and up has found that most homeowners (52%) believe that home renovations and improvement projects will take longer than anticipated.

A report from Statista predicts that U.S. home improvement sales are projected to reach $550 billion-plus this year.

“Over half of our survey respondents believe that home renovation projects are guaranteed to take longer than originally estimated,” said the report. “Fifty-five percent of men and 49% of women surveyed share this belief of never-ending home projects.”

Additional survey findings include:

  • Women are 10% more likely than men to believe DIY renovations save money over hiring a pro.
  • Millennials are 12%-13% more likely to feel that eco-friendly renovations won’t break the bank compared to Generation X and baby boomers.
  • Twenty percent of respondents have no idea about permit requirements for common home renovations.
  • Seventy-four percent of Americans have some confidence in their ability to oversee a home renovation.

The impetus for most renovation projects is to either improve upon old or failing systems. Others feel that a small investment in home improvements will boost a sellers’ return on investment (ROI) at the time of a home sale.

In placing a value on renovation efforts, Angi’s survey found 42% of Gen X respondents reported that all home improvement projects bring added value to a home. Comparatively, only 31% of millennials and 32% of baby boomers reported that renovating a home guarantees increased value.

Data from Remodeling Magazine cited in the study found that a minor kitchen remodel should provide a 72.2% ROI. However, the nature of the renovation project varies, as the addition of a new primary suite is projected to only return 47.7% of its value.

There are those who will seek out a professional contractor to do their work, but there are those who choose to take the “Do-It-Yourself” route as a means to save money. Angi’s survey revealed that women are 10% more likely to believe DIY renovations save money, over hiring a professional to do the work.

“The accuracy of this belief largely depends on the person’s DIY skills and knowledge,” found the report. “While someone who has made home improvement their hobby may be able to handle home renovation projects on their own, many others may overestimate their ability.”

And when rules and regulations become entwined with renovations, obtaining permits from government agencies and local municipalities can become an issue that many are not aware of nor are educated on. Obtaining proper permits can be a time-consuming process that extends a project’s timeline, and Angi’s survey found that 20% of respondents had no idea about permit requirements for common home renovations, such as rerouting electrical or creating a new window opening. Ignoring this important aspect of a renovation project can result in costly fines.

“When looking at the data closely, we found that millennials and Gen X are especially at a loss, with 26% and 24% respectively stating they had no idea which home renovations often require a permit,” said Angi’s survey. “In comparison, only 8% of Baby Boomers felt they had no idea. Thirty percent of men assume most renovations don’t require permits, while only 22% of women believed the same.”


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