Los Gatos Weekly Times

Study finds new hardwood floors, home offices bring most joy to homeowners

- By Rose Meily

New findings in the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, a joint study by the National Associatio­n of Realtors and the National Associatio­n of the Remodeling Industry, found American homeowners embarked on a wide variety of renovation­s and remodeling projects over the past year. This year’s report is the result of a fall 2021 survey conducted by the homeowners­hip site Houselogic.com regarding the last remodeling project homeowners undertook and a cost survey by NARI members. The report analyzed a number of home improvemen­t aspects, including why homeowners decided to remodel, the general costs of specific remodeling tasks, and the fulfillmen­t experience­d after a project was completed.

“The pandemic has changed the way we use our homes, and many of those changes are here to stay,” said Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of Demographi­cs and Behavioral Insights. “As a result, homeowners needed to reconfigur­e or remodel how they use their home and maximize space.”

The report indicates Americans spent $420 billion in 2020 on home remodeling ventures. Ninety percent of NARI members cited a greater demand for contractin­g remodeling work during the course of the pandemic. Three out of five NARI members (60%) said the scale of the projects grew either in a larger project or remodeling more than one room due to the pandemic. Although 83% of consumers stated they would have remodeled regardless of the pandemic, 86% reported remodeling one area of their home then inspired them to remodel other areas of the house.

More than a third of owners (35%) hired a profession­al for their entire project, while 28% indicated they hired someone for the labor but purchased the necessary materials. Twentytwo percent of homeowners did the whole project themselves, from start to finish.

Projects that made the homeowners want to remain home, or remodel jobs that sparked increased enjoyment for them received a high

Joy Score, with 10 being considered a perfect Joy Score. Some tasks that were awarded scores of 10 included painting a home’s entire interior, painting one room, adding a home office, hardwood floor refinishin­g, closet renovation, and insulation upgrades, among other labors.

Hardwood floor refinishin­g received a 10 Joy Score because the homeowners were happy and satisfied in their home after undertakin­g the upgrade. Sixty-four percent said they have an increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home now that their hardwood flooring is installed. Another 64% said just thinking about the completed project gives them a “major sense of accomplish­ment.”

Adding a new home office is another task that earned a perfect Joy Score based on homeowners’ sentiments. Ninety-one percent of respondent­s said they have a greater desire to be home now that their office is in place and 73% said they have an increased sense of enjoyment when they are home.

The NAR/NARI report also provides a cost recovery estimate for the projects. In regard to interior projects, refinishin­g hardwood floors received the highest percentage cost recovered at 147%. New wood flooring was at 118%, and an insulation upgrade was at 100%. Among exterior projects, new roofing and a new garage door both recovered 100% of the project costs.

“Home renovation­s often increase a home’s value, so renovation­s that make the homeowner happy and that would be advantageo­us should they consider selling their home in the future, are worthwhile pursuing, as long as costs don’t outweigh these benefits,” said

Brett Caviness, president of the Silicon Valley Associatio­n of Realtors. “Before undertakin­g a major renovation, it’s good to consult a Realtor. Realtors can provide input on what projects can add value to a home and explain the variety of factors that affect a home’s value, such as location and condition of surroundin­g properties.”

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