After a year of spending more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many homeowners are looking for ways to make their homes fit their new realities. Open floor plans are out; dedicated spaces for remote work and learning are in. Yards are being transformed into entertainment spaces and walls are being repainted. At the same time, increased demand and safety concerns can make the remodeling process much longer than before.
Here are five trends to watch for this 2021 home-remodeling season.
1. A FOCUS ON DEDICATED SPACES
At the start of 2020, “the most requested design concept was open space,” says Jimmy Dollman, principal of Dollman Construction in Roanoke, Virginia. “But now, we face a different set of design implications because everyone’s living conditions have changed.”
Dollman notes that remote workers and learners need privacy and quiet. This year, expect to see homeowners spending less time knocking down walls to open up shared areas, and more time transforming spare rooms or nooks into dedicated spaces.
2. MAKING ROOM FOR HOME OFFICES
To add home offices to residences, “homeowners aren’t adding square footage,” says Doug King, owner of King Contracting, a design-build firm in St. Petersburg, Florida, and president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. “Rather, they’re taking out rarely used closets, like in the hallway, and moving interior walls to make space.”
3. MORE OUTDOOR LIVING
One cure for that cooped-up feeling is outdoor living areas.
4. LONGER WAIT TIMES
Besides shifts in design trends, homeowners can expect a continued slow-down in the industry. In some cases, safety concerns have changed how contractors and workers approach projects.
Getting permits can also take much longer than usual as demand increases and those who approve the permits adapt to new working conditions — for instance, working at home rather than in the office, or working with a limited staff.
5. BOLD COLORS
For homebound do-it-yourselfers looking for affordable ways to make rooms more welcoming this year, adding a colorful fresh coat of paint will likely be high on their list.
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This article originally appeared on the personal finance website NerdWallet. Carol J. Alexander is a contributing writer at NerdWallet. Email NerdWallet: USexpansion@nerdwallet.com