As the pandemic continues, homeowners are fulfilling their wanderlust by transforming their backyards into an oasis that’s one step away. According to Porch.com’s latest report released on Wednesday, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of 1,038 surveyed homeowners have completed at least one home improvement project since March.

“Did sheltering in place have any effect on home improvement rates? Our data says yes,” the report read. “Over half of American homeowners (55 percent) said the pandemic and associated disruptions gave them time to improve their homes, while 59 percent admitted that spending more time inside due to lockdown inspired them to renovate their place of residence.”

Although homeowners spent time revamping their indoor spaces, outdoor projects were the most popular. Twenty-six percent of homeowners worked on their gardens, while 18 percent gave their lawns extra attention. Another 20 percent completed other exterior projects, such as painting.

When it comes to the indoors, repainting was the most popular project (23 percent). New lights and security cameras came in second (16 percent), followed by upgraded kitchens, smart lighting systems and smart doorbells (14 percent).

To pay for these projects, homeowners primarily relied on savings accounts (38 percent) and credit cards (33 percent). Another 13 percent used their stimulus check, while another 7 percent used their tax return. Less popular options included loans from family or friends (5 percent), retirement funds (6 percent) and insurance payouts (6 percent).

Going forward, 78 percent of homeowners told Porch they planned to make additional upgrades aimed at improving the functionality of their homes in the face of extended lockdowns.

More than a third of homeowners plan to install high-speed internet (33 percent), 18 percent plan to build a pool, 17 percent want to add a home office, and 16 percent have a home gym on their wish lists.

Beyond the addition of new indoor and outdoor living spaces, homeowners are focusing on making their homes more eco-friendly.

“Overall, four in ten (40 percent) Americans who own a home are planning to make it better for their environment,” the report explained. “Leading the charge are, unsurprisingly, Millennials and Gen Z, where 56 percent are planning eco-conscious renovations.”

“Gen X’ers, however, are not far behind with as many as 43 percent sharing the same mindset,” it continued.

Solar panels (14 percent), energy-efficient lighting (12 percent), eco-friendly appliances (11 percent), compost heaps (11 percent) and solar water heating systems (10 percent) are the most popular projects homeowners plan to undertake in the next 12 months.

“For better or for worse, the COVID pandemic gave Americans time and opportunity to improve their homes to an extent few imagined,” the report concluded.

“As the situation around the reopening of the country remains uncertain, there’s one thing most homeowners know for sure: whatever the circumstances, they’ve continued making their homes better, smarter, and greener in 2020, with no signs of stopping.”

Email Marian McPherson

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