Homeowners Seen Investing in ‘Purposeful, Joyful’ Projects

by Anita Shaw

CHARLOTTE, NC — Homeowners are focused on investing in larger remodeling projects, including those involving the kitchen and bath, that are aimed at making their home “more purposeful and joyful,” a major new survey has found.

According to the 9th Annual LightStream Home Improvement Trends Survey, a recent online poll of some 1,300 U.S. homeowners, 73% of those surveyed reported that they’ve invested in a home improvement since the COVID-19 pandemic began two-plus years ago.

The top home improvement projects continue to be kitchen (39%) and bathroom (36%) remodels, but “there has been significant growth in the number of homeowners investing in large projects that create additional useable space and functionality in their homes,” the LightStream survey found.

For example:

  • 20% of the homeowners surveyed are planning home additions, compared to 12% in 2021.
  • 20% are planning basement/attic renovations, compared to 14% in 2021.
  • 40% are planning outdoor renovations, compared to 35% in 2021.

“When our homes became the place where we did it all – work, school, sleep, eat – many of us hoped the world would soon ‘return to normal’,” said Todd Nelson, senior v.p. of strategic partnerships at LightStream, an online lender and affiliate of Charlotte, NC-based Truist Financial Corp.

“Now, after two years of living in a new way, homeowners are thoughtfully investing in permanent changes to not only accommodate new lifestyles, but also to add more functionality and emotional benefits to their homes,” Nelson noted, adding that “home renovation plans are back on the rise to create or improve purposeful space.

According to LightStream, homeowners are currently focused on renovation projects “that provide emotional fulfillment, not just a return on investment.” Only one in three (34%) homeowners say they feel “joyful” in their home, survey results found. However, 51% say they want to feel joyful, and 29% cited being “happy with a space for years to come” as an important reason why they would invest in a 2022 project.

Additionally, homeowners “are pivoting toward projects that accommodate remote work/learn lifestyles,” LightStream reported.

“The pandemic has redefined our foundational thinking around how we utilize our homes, what we expect and what we want out of them,” Nelson observed. “Whether it’s a new bedroom to accommodate a live-in parent or returning adult child, a home office, a home study room or a backyard escape, more purposeful spaces are clearly a priority for many homeowners.

“We’ve got new needs, and we need new spaces to meet them.”

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