Home improvement refers to any renovation, repair or remodeling of a home or other dwelling. It also includes building or making additions to a home and installing appliances, lighting fixtures, furniture and other accessories. It can also mean repairing or improving the structure of the home such as foundation, walls and roofs or installing landscaping like decks, patios, pools and fences. It can also include converting an existing room or space into a new home improvement project such as a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen or basement.
When it comes to home improvement, the buck stops with the homeowner. And it’s up to homeowners to accurately estimate the cost of their projects and build a budget cushion to cover unforeseen costs.
In our latest NerdWallet survey, 80% of homeowners who have completed home improvement projects say they’re usually able to stick to the budget they set for their projects. That’s up from 76% when we asked about it in 2018.
Rock-bottom interest rates are fueling a surge in home improvement spending. And older Americans are driving most of the activity. They were most likely to undertake projects in 2017 and, on average, spent the most — more than double what younger owners did. While millennials are the youngest homeowners, they made up only a small percentage of homeowners last year and drove just 6 percent of improvement market spending. However, they’re more likely than other age groups to pursue projects that increase energy efficiency.