Poll: Consumers Bullish on Renovation

SACRAMENTO, CA — Consumers are generally bullish about the impact of home renovation, with nearly three-quarters of those surveyed reporting that spending on home-improvement projects – from unexpected repairs like leaky roofs to major upgrades like kitchen remodels – always increases the value of a home.

That’s among the key findings of a recent online survey of homeowners, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of NerdWallet, a Sacramento, CA-based online source for financial advice.

According to the survey, roughly half (52%) of the surveyed homeowners who’ve undertaken a home repair or improvement project in the past two years were “easily” able to pay for the bulk of the project. As for the others, sacrifices were made (20%), debt was taken on (13%) or savings (12%) were spent (see graph).

Among those requiring funding options, 56% of the surveyed homeowners said they’d be willing to borrow money – from home equity loans or lines of credit, home refinancing or borrowing from a lender, family member or retirement fund – to undertake a renovation project that they knew would increase the value of their home, the NerdWallet survey found.

Other findings revealed that many homeowners are:

  • Spending far less on DIY projects than on professional work. DIY projects accounted for 38% of all home improvements, but just 18% of all home improvement costs, according to NerdWallet. In the kitchen addition/renovation category, for example, the median project cost for DIY homeowners was $22,000 less than for homeowners who hired professionals.
  • Lament the cost of professional work. Some 80% of surveyed homeowners claim that professionals charge “too much” for labor and materials, but 68% say those costs are “worth it over having to do it themselves.” Among those surveyed, 35% say home improvement TV shows “have led them astray,” influencing them to take on a DIY project that ended poorly. 43% of surveyed homeowners say they’ve “messed up” a DIY home project on at least one occasion.
  • Energetic when they’re young. Homeowners under age 35 tackle DIY projects on more than half of all their home repair and improvement projects, a larger share than homeowners in all other age groups. As such, they’re spending less on a typical project. ▪

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