The pandemic has brought about increased demand for home improvements/remodeling and a focus on outdoor areas of the home. Some of the factors driving this are the extra time and money available due to less travel, fewer/no vacations, and fewer outside activities. Many homeowners plan to do the work themselves, rather than bring contractors into their homes.
Some of the Covid-driven trends are for more space since family members are in the home more hours of the day and for more flexible space to accommodate the need for office, study and workout areas. The larger homes can also provide room for extended family members to live together.
Private outdoor spaces have also become more important. Without the need to commute to an office, many people are able to move further away from cities and traditional employment zones. This allows them to rent or purchase larger homes with more outdoor space. The US Census data on new homes has shown a continuing trend over the last 10+ years for more homes to be built with either a patio, porch or deck. The desire for access to outdoor areas may increase this trend.
In new homes healthy features and products are in demand. However, upgrades are also popular in current homes. People have become even more aware of the need for cleaner homes, including better air filtration and ventilation, and for disinfectant/antimicrobial items.
Upgraded kitchens have been a focus year after year, but never more than during this time when most meals are created in the home.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) produces a quarterly Remodeling Market Index to assess remodeling activity among its members. The 2020 Q4 results showed significant increases over the 2020 Q1 results.
Additional finished space, upgraded kitchens and baths, basement refinishing, new decks, enclosing porches and other home remodeling can mean higher replacement costs. It’s a good idea to ask your clients if they have made any significant changes to their home over the last year. Otherwise they might be underinsured.
Whether discovered after a single loss or a major disaster, underinsurance is an issue for all involved parties. Accurate replacement costs and insuring to value helps property owners rebuild what they’d previously had, receive sufficient contents coverage, provide the proper value for flood insurance and—most of all—prevent an unhappy client. e2Value keeps up with changes in costs to provide you with fast, cost-effective and accurate replacement cost valuations. Contact us about estimator tools for Mainstreet® homes, high-value homes, mobile manufactured and kit homes, condos and co-ops, commercial and farm & ranch structures.