Pandemic Home Renovation Trends

By December 1, 2020Design Trends
Man and woman working at a construction bench on a renovation project.

Home Renovation Trends Could Become Long-Term Habits

The pandemic led to many of us spending more time at home in the last year. Our homes serve as places to entertain and relax, and their design reflects that purpose. Most homes were not designed with remote work and schooling in mind.

Drill and blue prints on a work tableThe new demands on our homes have led to an unprecedented interest in home renovation projects. In the CNBC survey, another 88 percent of homeowners planned to increase their retail spending, with home improvements as the largest category. Renovation demand comes from both homeowners who want updates to appeal to buyers and those planning on staying put.

Most single-family homes support a lifestyle where people occupy the space a few hours each day. The pandemic home renovation trends try to adapt to the new lifestyles brought on by the shelter-in-place and social distancing orders. Our homes now need to offer opportunities for quiet and focus, plus more options for entertainment and recreation.

Why Home Renovations Now? 

The additional time at home is motivating homeowners to go ahead with the projects they’ve been hoping to do for some time. Others felt inspired to renovate based on spending so much time at home.

Porch.com found 76 percent of American homeowners have tackled at least one home improvement project since the pandemic began. Another 78 percent plan for at least one more project in the next 12 months.

What are the Current Trends in Home Renovations?

Newly renovated home officeCreating Cozy and Permanent Home Offices

Reliable internet is essential for remote work, but it takes more than connectivity to succeed in working from home in the long-term. The perfect home office space has ample room to store the necessary materials for the required work. Creating quiet and calm spaces is essential for focusing on work.

It’s not easy to work uninterrupted and have professional conversations while sharing a kitchen table with multiple people at home. Spouses co-working from home is one challenge. For families with children, the closure of schools and daycares left them scrambling to find quiet spaces for their work conference calls. It’s challenging to have high-level planning sessions with a 3-year-old clamoring for attention in the background.

Woman doing yoga at homeFor those reasons, a popular pandemic home renovation trend seeks to create a quiet space where someone can step away and do their work. The reinvented spaces aim to create the appropriate amount of storage and privacy.

For some, a renovation creates two offices, perhaps by using an existing home office space and then repurposing an extra bedroom or area of the home. Other homeowners add an accessory dwelling unit or undergo a major reconfiguration to create a home office space.

Separating the Outdoors and Indoors

Newly renovated entranceway in a homeThe stay-at-home advisories left more of us appreciating the great outdoors. Spending time outside is critical for our mental and physical health.

The pandemic found more homeowners spending time taking walks, improving their landscaping, adding gardens, or playing in their backyards. Home entryways became more frequently used. At the same time, home deliveries drastically increased. We need room to accommodate received packages.

Another pandemic-inspired renovation trend rethinks our entryway spaces to better separate the outdoors from the indoors. Renovations include enlarging the areas. There’s been a trend for larger mudrooms that can have a place for packages.

Sometimes adding space isn’t feasible. Instead, it’s about making the existing space work through new configurations or furniture. Homeowners are enhancing the entryway with more storage.

Flex Spaces Transformed into Kid Spaces

It’s not just the parents who need room to work. Virtual schooling requires comfortable seating and quiet space to concentrate on the lessons. However, school runs six to eight hours a day for K-12 learners­. What will kids do with the time outside school? What about younger children or those doing remote classes for college?

Young child playing at homeThe pandemic increased home renovations for unique, flexible spaces for families and their children. One trend is to give kids ample room to expend their energy by adding playrooms or unique outdoor playgrounds.

Another focuses on the school office space so that the child can focus on their learning. Some families have renovated to create room for homeschooling pods—where a small group of families pitch in to hire a private teacher that comes to the home to teach.

What are the Most Popular Spaces Being Renovated?

Basements

Finishing a basement has always been a way for homeowners to add flex space while increasing their home value. Interest in basement renovations and finishing rose during the pandemic. Homeowners repurpose basements into play spaces for young children, classrooms for school-age kids, gymnasiums, and offices.  

Garages

Not every existing home has an ample interior footprint for reconfiguration or the exterior space to add an addition. For that reason, garage conversions are part of the pandemic trend. Homeowners use the ample space to accommodate their fitness needs with home gyms. Others renovate their garage into a work studio.

Man working out at home in garageThe garage renovation can be temporary, giving homeowners the flexibility to turn it back into vehicle storage when the pandemic demands need. Depending on how the garage is adapted, it can be more permanent and potentially can increase a home’s value by adding to its square footage.

He and She Sheds

Homeowners with ample yard space are turning to their backyards. The New York Times reports an increased interest in customizable sheds adaptable as home classrooms, offices, and workout spaces. Sheds are added for more flexible-use space: a music studio, spare room, play space, or guest room.

These structures are less expensive than an interior renovation and can be assembled quickly on-site. The same article interviewed Studio Shed, a Colorado-based company whose sales were up 500 percent year-over-year in May 2020.

Adapting Your Home for a Pandemic Lifestyle

The recent news regarding vaccines is positive for all of us, but remote work and school aren’t going away any time soon. According to CNBC, more than half of the survey respondents expected to work from home into 2021.

A home renovation improves the home and typically adds value to your home especially if you plan to sell in the near future.

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