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Pandemic renovators regretting aesthetic decisions: BC Hydro

Bathroom, kitchen and flooring changes regretted by DIYers
Home renovation.

Some B.C. pandemic home renovators are regretting focusing on aesthetics rather than increasing their homes’ overall values, says a new report from BC Hydro.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, British Columbians have spent more time than ever before at home, and for some it has been an eye-opening experience,” the report - titled “Room for improvement: Why British Columbians are experiencing renovation regret after making home upgrades” - said.

“With the importance of the home magnified, many British Columbians experienced a feeling of dissatisfaction with the way their home looks or functions, and the desire to complete home improvement projects and in some cases complete renovations has been on the rise,” it said.

The report, released March 12, found 53% of provincial homeowners – spending more time in their residences – have completed a renovation since the pandemic began.

The report said motivations behind improvements were 35% for aesthetic improvement, 29% for comfort and 10% for energy savings.

But many, particularly DIYers, are regretting their choices, Hydro said.

Top regrets include bathroom and kitchen renos followed by flooring changes. Some 16% regret bathroom renovation, 15% kitchen renovation, and 14% changing flooring

“At the root of these regrets was the wish they had used different products [and] spent more time planning or invested the money to do the renovation they really wanted,” the report said.

The problem is that many thought changing aesthetics would increase the resale value of their home.

“However, these changes do not necessarily increase or maintain the value of a home long-term. In fact, maintaining worth depends heavily on energy-saving and maintenance upgrades such as updating the heating/cooling system and replacing windows, doors and roofing,” Hydro said.

But, the provincial utility said, renovators aren’t slowing down as 41% are planning spring improvement projects.

The report found DIYers’ top regret was that the project took longer than expected (21%), followed by not being pleased with the results (10%) and taking on too much (10%).

When it comes to cost, renovators have invested between $1,000 to $4,999 on home improvements since March 2020 while almost 30% have done a small project under $1,000. Almost a quarter spent $5,000 to $19,999.

Despite the aesthetics focus, the study found 47% said they’ve made energy-efficient upgrades, while 50% have not.

“Of those that have not made any energy-efficient upgrades, over one-third said it is because they think these upgrades would be too expensive to make,” the report said.

However, results indicated more homeowners are willing to make significant energy-efficient upgrades if money was no object. Cost aside, 46% would install a more efficient heating/cooling system, 40% would opt for energy-efficient windows and doors and 35% would purchase solar panels.


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