Home improvement and building supply stores are cashing in on America’s current love affair with home improvement projects.  This year, homeowners are spending 60% more on these projects than last year.  The Home Advisor’s 2017 True List Report indicates that they’re averaging more than $5,150. this year, up by $1,870. from last year, on home improvement projects and that nearly two thirds of homeowners anticipate spending that amount or more in the coming year.

Guy Hazan, owner of Construction Owl in Encino, CA, says that “…with high home prices, many people can’t afford to go out and buy a new home but they can get equity loans at low interest rates so they’re choosing to remodel.”  In fact, there has been a two-fold increase in home equity loans which enables homeowners to spend money on discretionary projects they’ve to delayed due to the recession.  More available equity loans, a rise in consumer confidence and a rise in peoples’ sense of financial well being all contribute to this rise in both the number and scope of home improvement projects.

The most popular improvement projects include

  1. bathroom remodels
  2. exterior painting
  3. installations of new roofs
  4. new air conditioning systems
  5. room additions and extensions

Building professionals are also experiencing a boom in terms of work.  Those hiring the pros are:

  1. The Greatest Generation – ages 91 and up – 54% say they always hire a professional
  2. Baby Boomers – 53% hire professionals
  3. Gen Xers – 44% hire professionals
  4. Millennials – 40% hire professionals

Fernando Jaravillo, a 36 year old real estate agent in West Covina, CA, indicates that he’s done a lot of work (refinished his floors with wood flooring, new cabinets, tile and counter tops in the bathrooms, interior and exterior painting, recessed lighting and concrete patios and walkways) in the last two years on his house.  “I feel good about the market overall and about my own finances in particular. Now’s the time to do this work.”

Eileen Atwood, owner of Sierra Custom Kitchens in Pasadena, CA, echoes Jaravillo.  “I think there’s more confidence in the real estate market and in everything in general.  My business is up.  People are just spending more money.”