Instead of Moving, Many U.S. Homeowners Are Choosing This Alternative

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It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic inspired many people to leave big cities. Specifically, folks have traded small apartments for spacious homes complete with fresh air and outdoor space. In turn, the housing market has become quite tight — so much so that people are choosing renovations over actually moving, according to recent survey conducted by DEWALT, a tool company owned by Stanley Black & Decker.

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The survey, which was conducted online between May 21 to 30, included 2,516 homeowners across the United States. The results revealed that 72% of homeowners are planning (or considering) home renovations within the next six months. The survey also found that, due to the housing market, 52% of homeowners "are considering home renovations as an alternative to buying a new home."

According to the survey results, the top five renovation projects include bathroom remodels, kitchen remodels, bedroom remodels, landscaping projects, and outdoor space makeovers (which includes the porch, patio, and deck). Given how the pandemic emphasized the importance of nature, it's no surprise that landscaping and outdoor projects have made the list.

Homeowners are also planning to spend a pretty penny. Of those planning home renovations, 64% are expecting to spend more than $10,000. About 28% of homeowners expect to drop at least $30,000.

So, what does this mean for homeowners? Due to the surge in home renovations, it might take some time to find a professional contractor who is accepting new projects. In fact, the DEWALT survey revealed that 56% of homeowners who have contacted a contractor need to wait at least three months to begin the project.

How to Choose the Right Contractor:

With so many people renovating their homes, it may be difficult to find an available contractor right now. Understandably, this can be frustrating, but it's important to practice patience.

Instead of choosing whoever is available, take the time to research your options. Keep in mind that a contractor with a long wait time is a ​good​ thing, as you probably don't want to work with anyone who rushes their projects. Also, choose a contractor based on quality (rather than cost) to avoid redoing projects down the line.

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Kirsten Nunez is a journalist and author focusing on food, health, and DIY. In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." Her work has appeared on eHow, PopSugar, Shape, VegNews, and more. She lives in Beacon, New York.