6 Ways to Finance Your Home Improvement Project

Lynne M. Centeno

If you’ve been staring at the four walls of your home since March, you might feel an itch to finally finish your basement or update your bathroom tiles. As long as you’re at home, you might as well enjoy what you’re looking at, right?

According to a survey by online lender LightStream, 73% of homeowners are planning a home improvement project this year. Nearly two-thirds of homeowners planning renovations will use savings, the survey says. Those who don’t have savings or choose not to spend it will need to weigh their options for financing their renovation projects.

The best way to pay for your project depends on factors like your home equity, credit and goals for the project. Here are six types of home improvement loans and how each works.

1. Cash-out refinance

The economic effects of COVID-19 have driven mortgage rates down sharply, making cash-out refinance a popular recommendation

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76% of Homeowners Made Home Improvements During Pandemic

Lynne M. Centeno

With many consumers spending more time indoors because of the pandemic, some homeowners have used at least a portion of that time to make improvements on their homes.

Porch, a company that connects homeowners and home improvement professionals, surveyed homeowners to gauge whether the coronavirus outbreak has stopped them from moving forward with their home improvement plans. The survey found that not only were most homeowners not deterred by the pandemic, but many have taken action because of it.

A renewed focus on home amid the pandemic

Some earlier studies have suggested that consumers may be putting off plans to buy a new house because of the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic. For current homeowners, though, renovating their homes may be an appealing alternative.

The vast majority of respondents to the Porch survey — 76% — said they have made at least one home improvement since the pandemic started.

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Lumber shortages derail home improvement plans during COVID-19

Lynne M. Centeno
Lumber shortages are derailing some home improvement plans
Lumber shortages are derailing some home improvement plans

The lumber industry has been caught off guard by Canadians’ financial resilience during COVID-19, resulting in shortages that are derailing home improvement plans.

According to data from Statistics Canada, 5.5 million Canadian workers have been affected by shutdowns, either through a drop in employment or COVID-19 related absences. The unemployment rate has gone from 5.6 per cent before the pandemic to 12.3 per cent.

Despite the devastation to the job market, spending on home repairs and renovations fell only 5 per cent in May, compared to January.

“The lumber industry was not expecting this as can be seen by their production. U.S. lumber production was up an average 6 per cent year-over-year per month [from January to March] but dropped 7 per cent year-over-year in April and Canadian production was down 8 per cent year-over-year in the first three months of 2020

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DIY Trend in Home Improvement & Automation to Soar: 5 Picks

Lynne M. Centeno

The global urban population is expected to swell by around 2.5 billion by 2050. Urban dwellers have shown a significant inclination to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects, in both home improvement and home automation. As the coronavirus pandemic have restricted people mostly indoors, they can now invest more time in DIY projects that drives the market.

Stay-at-Home Propels Home Restructuring

The pandemic has forced people to work from home and many companies have suggested employees to continue working remotely even after the coronavirus outbreak. Hence, many are now converting their unfinished basements into a workspace or working on DIY home-office projects. This includes expanding space to fit in another computer monitor and making a bookshelf that can fit perfectly into the space available.

Additionally, in the past years, the United States has been witnessed rising adoption of luxury real estate and with the rise in population of working women, families now have

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