With increased home values, a growing number of homeowners are flush with home equity and are eager to re-invest in home improvements. COVID-19 sparked a demand for remodeling projects (e.g., home offices, gyms and outdoor living spaces) and those trends have continued even as the pandemic subsides.
“Extended time at home meant homeowners focused on projects that may have [otherwise] been put off,” said Kurt Clason, the 2022 National Home Builders Association (NAHB) Remodelers Chair and owner of New Hampshire-based Clason Remodeling. “Many decided to stay in their homes longer, seeking out aging-in-place or universal design projects. As a result, our industry has not just survived the pandemic, but it has thrived.”
Quarterly surveys conducted by NAHB throughout the past year confirm that as home prices and interest rates rise, prospective buyers are increasingly losing steam with their home search and opting to stay put. Luckily, with recent advancements in building products and techniques, it’s never been easier for homeowners to infuse new life into an existing property.
And not all remodeling projects are as intensive and visible as renovating a full kitchen or bathroom. Sometimes, the smaller upgrades can make a big impact – especially those that make your home “smarter,” for example:
The options for smart-home security systems are perhaps more plentiful than in any other category of home technology. Homeowners now can easily monitor nearly every inch of their home, and that includes the garage: Several garage door opener manufactures have created dual-purpose openers that feature built-in cameras and two-way audio communication. This improves security in what is often an overlooked space of the home. And some models integrate with Amazon Key for convenient and secure in-garage deliveries of packages and groceries.
Water damage can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Failed plumbing can happen at any time and often with little or no warning. Even in existing homes that are relatively new, having an integrated water monitoring system will provide significant peace of mind. Some of the latest — and relatively inexpensive — plumbing products will send ultrasonic sound waves through a home’s main water line to measure water flow. If potential problems are detected, alerts will be immediately sent to the homeowner. Customizable features can also be set to automatically shut off the main water line, if desired.
One of the more crowd-pleasing features of a smart home is also one that can be among the most affordable and easy to install: automated illumination. But lighting isn’t just about bulbs, cans, fixtures and blinds. There are other “behind-the-scenes” smart devices such as dimmers, switches and receptacles that can be installed quickly to enhance — and automate — devices in any room of the home. The key is to determine early on which technology platform you prefer, ensuring optimal compatibility among your devices and minimizing the need to install additional hubs.
With a seemingly endless variety of new smart-home products to choose from, it’s important to define your preferences and priorities before you begin. Your best bet is to enlist the expertise of a professional remodeler who can help walk you through the process.
To find a professional remodeler in your area, visit our directory of professional remodelers.