Remodeling Projects Reflect More Time Outdoors


While 2020 was the year that COVID-19 disrupted many people’s lives, it was also the year that homeowners improved their outdoor spaces, caught up on home repairs and improvements, organized stuff, and made their homes more comfortable and functional, says data from Home Innovation Research Labs (HIRL). The ‘Consumer Practices Survey’ shows that remodeling projects have increased in all categories in the study, from a few percentage points to more than 20 per cent year-over-year. Many of the top projects (by year-over-year increase) are directly related to outdoor living, reflecting that people want to spend more quality time outside and make outdoor spaces more functional, comfortable, and attractive. Home improvement and repair projects on decks, porches, and fences were up 21 per cent compared to 2019, with exterior or interior doors also up 21 per cent, outdoor accessories up 20 per cent, and siding and exterior finishes up 15 per cent. Windows and accessories projects were up 14 per cent year-over-year and roofing and accessories projects were up 12 per cent. As for interior projects, the research shows that interior painting jobs grew the most from March to April 2020, when the pandemic restrictions first came into effect. HIRL says material shortages and high prices for treated lumber created pent-up demand, and “households are still waiting for prices and supply to return to normal before undertaking some of those outdoor projects in 2021. With some common building materials in short supply or just higher in price in 2020, [we] anticipate it will become known as a year when product alternatives gained ground.”