As people looked to spruce up their spaces to cope with the stay-at-home orders, the home improvement industry saw a surprising surge. Analysts expected spending on home improvement to reach $439.9 billion in 2020. Clearly, despite the economic impact of COVID-19, many people were still eager to splurge on new home items.
Home remodeling projects jumped in demand as well. Houzz, a home remodeling online platform, noted a 40% surge in kitchen and bathroom remodeling in June 2020. Home additions grew by 52%, and fencing projects spiked to a whopping 166%. Even expensive pool and hot tub installations increased in demand.
To get a clearer picture of what the home improvement industry went through during the pandemic, here’s a list of the top-selling products and services in their category (in no particular order):
Since the beginning of the lockdowns drove people to hoard toilet paper, some homeowners turned to bidets, resulting in the product selling well over the year 2020. Searches for bidet alone jumped to 304% over a single month. This is an excellent development since using bidets is far more hygienic than wiping with toilet paper alone. And if there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic that would stay with us forever, that’s observing good personal hygiene at all times.
2. Desks and Office Chairs
As companies shifted to a digital model, homes became the new workplace. People worked at their dining tables for a time, assuming that everything would go back to normal in two weeks. When it became clear it wouldn’t, they started creating workstations at home, driving the sales of desks and office chairs up. Searches for those two items increased by 87% and 65%, respectively.
Many people also revamped their living spaces and bedrooms aside from their kitchens and bathrooms. Online sales of high-quality mattresses, couches, storage units, and others rose as early as January 2020. However, the surge did not come without challenges. The unprecedented demand pressured the supply chain, which the pandemic had disrupted.
But because people found greater convenience in shopping online, the increase in online shopping for furniture may stay even after the pandemic ends. It would be possible that most furnishings in newly remodeled homes will be bought online from now on.
1. Landscaping and Fence Installation
A survey has found that 86% of homeowners made exterior improvements, most commonly landscaping and fence installation. These services cost $3,432 and $2,842 on average, respectively. Even though landscaping is pricey, homeowners can get a good return on their investment. It boosts home value by up to 13%, after all.
2. Exterior Repainting
Exterior repainting was also a popular project during the pandemic. For an average cost of $2,960, a fresh coat of paint can improve curb appeal and boost the home’s value a little.
3. Bathroom Remodeling
Self-care rituals became a trending topic in the early days of the stay-at-home orders. As such, 65% of homeowners updated one or multiple bathrooms in their abodes. They splurged an average of $10,778 to turn their basic bathrooms into spas. It’s money well-spent, though, as an updated bathroom also boosts a home’s value.
4. Kitchen Remodeling
People found new hobbies during the pandemic, and two of the activities that stood out were cooking and baking. This made 43% of homeowners realize how inefficient their kitchens were all along. So they spent around $25,544 to improve their kitchens, from changing their countertops to replacing outdated appliances.
5. Garage Improvements
With traveling restricted, most cars stayed inside garages for the better part of 2020. This prompted auto-owners to make significant changes to their garages. Those who didn’t need the space for parking converted it into a home office, spending around $14,304. Others just shelled out a little over $200 for a garage door repair.
6. Basement Renovations
Family game nights grew more common again during the stay-at-home orders. So along with the sales of puzzles and board games, basement renovations also boomed. It became the main entertainment space of the home. People without children built bars in it, while families created dens where they could all gather to play.
Before the pandemic, particularly after the 1990s, finished basements went out of fashion because people found new ways to entertain themselves. But since the pandemic sparked people’s creative minds again, they realized how beneficial a finished basement would be. Aside from serving as an entertainment area, it can also boost a home’s value.
7. Full-scale Home Renovation
Some particularly fortunate ones were able to renovate their entire homes despite the pandemic’s economic instability. Considering the break people had during the pandemic, it was an excellent time to make significant home projects.
The massive growth in the home improvement industry is a fascinating occurrence since we all thought we’d spend the pandemic with only fear and uncertainty. Of course, those who could afford to improve their spaces are coming from a privileged position. Still, it feels good to see the businesses we helped boom during this challenging time.