Do-It-Yourself Home Improvement Tip of the Pandemic

Home improvement is a regular part of being a homeowner. Whether it’s fixing the leaky roof or re-painting the bedroom, homeowners find themselves facing projects that can’t be put off. But with a little work, these can be done without breaking the bank. The key is to keep a close eye on costs, and know which projects offer the best return on investment for your dollar.

While major home renovations have dropped during the pandemic, the number of homeowners undertaking do-it-yourself home improvement projects has skyrocketed. During the two-year period covered by the 2021 American Housing Survey, more than 135 million projects were undertaken by homeowners. This is an increase of more than a third compared to the previous two-year period.

One reason for the rise in DIY remodeling is that homeowners have more time at home during the pandemic, and want to spend it making their living spaces more comfortable. The National Association of Realtors’ 2022 Remodeling Impact Report found that after completing a home improvement project, 86% of homeowners felt more satisfied with their homes.

In addition, rock-bottom interest rates make home improvements a more attractive financial investment. And with homeowners spending more time at home, they are eager to entertain friends and family in the backyard. As a result, yard improvement projects are surging in popularity. Deck construction is up more than threefold this year, and putting in a fence is also up by a factor of nearly four.

As the economy slows, it’s possible that some of these DIY projects will slow down in the near future. But in the meantime, consumers should continue to focus on low-cost, high-return home improvement projects. For example, replacing worn doorknobs and re-grouting tile are inexpensive, do-it-yourself fixes that can add value to your home.

Another important tip is to be a smart consumer when hiring contractors. Make sure to ask for a written contract that clearly states the scope of work, price, payment terms and any warranties or guarantees provided by the contractor. You should also request a copy of the contractor’s Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) license and contact information. Avoid any contractors who refuse to provide you with this information.

While the housing market may be cooling, there’s still a lot of life left in your current home. Taking on small, do-it-yourself home improvement projects will help you enjoy your living space and can also boost the resale value when it’s time to sell. And don’t forget to spruce up the curb appeal, too: A freshly painted front door, properly mulched garden beds and a clean rain gutter can make all the difference.