I recently read an article from NPR.com on the surge in home improvement projects during COVID lockdowns. I have been noticing this and talking with friends about it, but it was interesting to see a major publication notice this. However, a quick googling of “home improvement during covid” showed me I was underestimating this. Dozens of websites and news publications have covered the topic of DIY projects during lockdowns. Some offer tips and tricks while others merely note the numbers of this trend. Surveys and studies have been done to gauge interest in home improvement. Back in August, one study found 58% of homeowners reported home improvement plans during lockdowns (as reported in this article). Clearly this is on a lot of minds. The question we then ask is why? Many of these projects cost money and are not easy. Why is everyone turning into Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor?
The first reason is one of necessity. What were once distant dreams of a renovated attic space for a home office or a finished basement became a matter of necessity as millions were sent to work from home. This left homeowners scrambling as to what to do to get some peace and quiet while their kids were home doing school.
Second, I think funds were more available than ever for some. Planned vacations were no longer an option. New car purchases were put on hold. People did not (and could not) frequent restaurants near as much. Stimulus money was coming in. Tax returns came in near the start of the lockdowns last year. For these reasons and more, this provided a serious influx of extra money for those who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs. How did they use the money? Well, one survey found 29% of those who cancelled their vacations due to COVID-19 were using the funds for home improvements. For those aged 35 to 44, that number jumped to 34%. When these projects have continually been put off for the new car or the family vacation year after year, this obviously changed during COVID.
However, it wasn’t just having more money. Third, people had more time. When you remove long commutes to work, dinner parties with friends, vacations, school functions for kids, sports, etc. you have a lot of extra time. What better way to use extra time than to improve your home and feel like you used your time productively?
Lastly, and I think this is the kicker, it seems home improvement became a form of self-care. Can you blame people for wanting to improve their surroundings when it’s what they are looking at day in and day out? Can you blame them for maybe taking out their anger at things by demoing a wall? Or for finding a mental escape in manual labor? The human spirit will not be crushed or controlled for long periods of time, and I think home projects were a way for people to not feel so controlled by everything. What do you think? Have you done any DIY work on your home?
If you are in the mood to get your home up to snuff, consider having it checked for lead pipes and/or any sewer issues. No, fixing these won’t be as fun as busting out walls like Chip Gaines, but it will ensure the safety of your water supply and will protect from costly backups in the future. If you’d like to or are in need of a water line replacement or sewer repair, contact Apex today! And if you have or are planning to do some sort of home improvement, good for you! I hope it has brought or will bring you some peace of mind and self-care during these difficult times.