Top Five Home Improvement Trends To Watch In 2020
20 Jan 2020
With the new decade finally upon us, it’s a good idea to step back and look at some broad trends. Today, we’re going to be taking a look at trends in the home improvement industry; this should be helpful to you if your work is even tangentially related to home improvement – whether you manage a hardware store or you work as a real estate agent. The article will also be helpful if you’re looking to make some upgrades to your house – new year, new home.
When looking at trends in home improvement, it’s useful to think about the different generations who will be improving their homes. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers may have very different priorities than Millennials, who themselves will have different priorities than Gen Z. For more information on the generations, you can take a look at data compiled by Pew Research; each generation lasts approximately 15 years.
Trend 1: Staying in Place
Home improvement projects can be thought of on three timelines: short, medium, and long. These timelines don’t reflect how long the project takes to complete; rather, they reflect how long the homeowner intends to stay in the home. Short term projects are those that are completed with the goal of increasing ROI when selling a home, like a fresh coat of paint. Medium-term projects fix problems that are relevant to the homeowner but don’t necessarily indicate their intent to stay – getting a new furnace or replacing faulty plumbing. The third type indicates that a homeowner probably wants to stay because the project improves their quality of life but doesn’t give a good ROI – building a new deck or new fixtures for aging-in-place.
There has been an increase in projects that indicate that homeowners intend to stay in their homes. For Baby Boomers and some older members of Gen X, that makes a lot of sense; as we grow older, there are fewer life events that might cause us to move. The trend is so prominent that the Government of Canada has released guidelines for aging-in-place.
For Millennials, the reason for the trend is harder to explain. By and large, people are moving less, Millennials included. You might think Millennials are moving less because of financial distress but Millennial finances are extremely complicated, so it’s hard to say for sure. One thing we do know, however, is that they’re moving less, so home improvement projects that increase quality of life are a must.
Trend 2: Cost-effective Renovations
We’re deep in the Information Age which means consumers are doing a lot of research before they buy. A mix of this financial pragmatism and a glut of potential suppliers may be the reason for the decline in luxury renovations we’ve seen; people are still renovating but they’re opting for low to mid-end products. As a consumer, that can give you a couple of options. As demand drops, you may find luxury renovations at a lower price; if you want to get new hardwood floors, now may be a good time. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re looking for cost-effective renovations, you have a lot of different options as manufacturers try to get in on an ever-expanding market.
Trend 3: Climate Conscious Renovations
There are two different ways of thinking of climate consciousness: prevention and mitigation. On the prevention side, people are renovating their homes to use less energy; think of insulation trends like Passive House or renewable energies like solar panels. We can expect this trend to continue as more Millennials and Gen Zers, who tend to be more passionate about climate issues, gain the resources to own and renovate homes.
The mitigation side of things involves creating homes that can resist natural disasters. This might include making your home fire-resistant, flood-resistant, or even hurricane resistant. The type of disaster mitigation that might be employed will depend on where exactly you live, but as we continue to see more natural disasters, we can expect this trend to continue.
Trend 4: Health Conscious Renovations
Not too long ago, pack-a-day smokers were commonplace. Over the years, we’ve seen a consistent decline in the number of people who smoke. In large part, this is due to how readily available health information is; Millennials, Gen Zers, and even Baby Boomers have become more health-conscious. This consciousness isn’t limited to food consumption either; renovators have begun to look for paints low in volatile organic compounds.
This holistic approach to health can lead to a number of interesting renovations. You might opt to improve your air quality by purchasing air purifiers, or high-efficiency filter furnaces. Other renovations include smart technologies and hands-free taps; this reduces the amount of contact with surfaces and decreases the spread of germs.
Trend 5: DIY
One of the most interesting trends to crop up is not about what home renovations you’re conducting, but how you’re going about them. We’ve talked a lot about how easy information is to access and that means many homeowners are trying their hand at DIY renovation. Many home improvement companies have spotted this trend and begun to create detailed how-to videos to help homeowners with renovations. That means you can expect a lot of people to buy supplies to allow them to renovate, without necessarily buying renovation services.
This isn’t to say that every renovation should be a DIY project; you might want to paint a room yourself or even build your own deck, but if you’re experiencing plumbing or electrical problems, you might want to call a helping hand. Professional plumbers and electricians reduce the risk of damage to your home, or worse yet, to yourself. That all said, DIY is in, so get your hands dirty and start on one of the renovation projects we’ve talked about – economical, environmentally friendly, health-conscious renovations are in!