Since 2019, HomeStars has surveyed, researched and produced an annual report to better understand home improvement trends and behaviours among Canadian homeowners. This year, our 2021 HomeStars Reno Report focuses on Canadian homeowner attitudes and behaviours towards renovations completed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our findings are fascinating and are contrary to many popular opinions released earlier in the year. Read on to learn more about the top five most interesting findings from this year’s Reno Report.
1. Covid-19 Effect
At the start of 2021, it was a common assumption that the pandemic would heavily influence the way people invest in their homes. Many believed that homeowners were renovating in order to expand or adapt their homes for better work, education or enjoyment spaces. Interestingly, according to our survey, only 32% of homeowners were motivated to renovate due to the pandemic. The majority of people, 68%, said that the strongest motivation to renovate was to improve the overall aesthetics in their homes.
As homeowners are spending more time at home, they’re noticing all the little things that could be improved upon. It’s no wonder that bathroom renovations and indoor painting projects, along with new appliance installations, have been the most popular projects for Canadian homeowners this year given the time spent at home.
2. Going Green & Staying Smart
To say 2021 has been a difficult year is an understatement. In addition to the global pandemic, Canada faced its share of environmental challenges. A string of natural disasters devastated British Columbia, a tornado swept through communities in Barrie, Ontario, and across the country we’re in for a particularly snowy winter.
These environmental events have made planet-conscious Canadians want to go green. In fact, 80% of Canadian homeowners are paying more attention to which types of material they are using for home improvement projects. Many homeowners are also taking advantage of the new Canada Green Grant with the help of local pros to assist in the process.
Additionally, Canadians are embracing the trend of using smart home technology to preserve energy, boost their home’s security and adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. Of the homeowners surveyed, over two-thirds (68%), have at least one smart home technology device. The most popular devices were a smart home thermostat at 37%, an internet-based home assistant (i.e. Google Home, Amazon Alexa, etc.) at 32%, and motion/alarm sensors at 26%.
3. Indoor Vs. Outdoor Spend
Another misconception held at the start of the year was that homeowners would follow 2020’s trend of investing in outdoor projects. Of the homeowners we surveyed this year, a massive 94% said they took on indoor renovations. Since the beginning of Covid, the average amount spent on completed indoor projects was $8,260. This is compared to outdoor renovations averaging at $4,800, close to half of the amount spent on indoor projects.
4. Money on Hand
As the pandemic forced Canadians inside their homes, it also limited travel and cancelled vacation plans. The silver lining to this was that many Canadians now had the cash on hand to invest in renovations. Interestingly, 81% of homeowners had the cash on hand to do home improvement projects as compared to 77% in 2019. For those who didn’t have the money readily available, the more popular options were using a line of credit, a credit card or a home equity loan.
5. Top Fantasy Projects
From east coast to west coast, Canadian homeowners responded with great enthusiasm when we asked, “if cost or space were not an issue, what would be [their] fantasy reno project?” The results differed from province to province. For instance, for Ontarians, it’s an outdoor cabana with a full chef’s kitchen (45%); Albertans and homeowners from BC fancy a fitness centre in their home (41%); homeowners from Manitoba and Saskatchewan leaned towards getting a resort-style outdoor pool with a waterslide (45%); and Atlantic Canadians dream of owning an indoor pool/sauna (37%). Luckily, these dream projects can be made a reality. If you’re interested in completing your fantasy project, all you need to do is connect with a pro on HomeStars!
As we prepare for 2022, Canadian homeowners are likely to maintain the same level of spending over the next 12 months. Be it an indoor renovation or outdoor, a small task like installing a new appliance or a big project like painting the whole house, you can find a local and reviewed-pro on HomeStars. To read more in-depth about our findings, you can access the full 2021 Reno Report here.