Additional time spent in our homes meant more wear and tear.

At the beginning of 2020, no one could have predicted the amount of time we’d all spend at home, or all of the ways we’d use our houses this year.

“In our annual survey of consumer spending on home services, we found that consumers are spending more this year than last year,” said Angie Hicks, co-founder of Angie’s List. “This was likely driven by increasing costs of both supplies and labor. We’re also finding that consumers are spending more time at home, and therefore taking on more home maintenance and improvement projects.”

The increase in cost of home services projects makes sense as both labor costs and supply costs were higher this year. The additional time spent in our homes meant there was more wear and tear on our homes that needed to be addressed and people were looking for ways to get more enjoyment from their homes.

Hicks says there was an “increase in a variety of home improvement, such as painting and especially outdoor space”. Homeowners were also redeploying dollars they would have spent on entertainment and travel and investing in current or future home improvement projects.

As our homes became our primary place for work, school, exercise and dining, many consumers began adopting new uses for existing home spaces and taking on projects to reflect that.

But, not all projects were optional.

Unfortunately, emergency projects were also on the rise, averaging 1.2 projects per year. “This was likely due to the extreme weather we’ve experienced, because that can lead to problems around the home,” Hicks says.

According to the survey, the top reason for home improvement spending was to make the home better suit the homeowner’s lifestyle needs, accounting for 41% of homeowners surveyed.

People are doing more than just fixing what’s broken at home, rather they’re adjusting it to meet their new lifestyle.

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