After a year that brought with it shutdowns due to a pandemic no one could have anticipated, 2020 also resulted in a massive surge of home improvement and construction projects that might not otherwise have been attempted. While most people would never ask for a repeat of this trying year, there are silver linings to the projects we were able to complete during shutdowns and quarantines. If you’re curious about some of the projects your family, friends, co-workers, and community pulled off during the shutdown, read on.
Reorganization and Home Offices
Toping the list of renovations and projects during the shutdown was home offices. This was likely due to workers who were able to work from home needing to rethink their living arrangements. For some parents, home offices were important to give children quiet spaces to study and do their online schooling, too.
If you were like many, rethinking how you would manage in a pandemic in 2020 was about as common as the search terms cheap storage unit near me for those thinking of moving back home to be closer to family. That is, this was a year of cleaning out guest rooms and transforming them into quiet spaces for work, study, and reimagining.
From complete overhauls of extra rooms and spaces, to tiny nooks for book shelves and laptop pull out desks, the home office was one thing many people had in common. For those who worked from home, shopping for printers, microphones, earbuds, and webcams was nearly as important as the building itself. While some people built custom desks to meet their work and school needs best, others knocked down walls and pulled up old flooring to make their office spaces as functional as possible.
Like with home offices, another big project for many was an overhaul of the kitchen. Again, with people stuck at home in shutdowns, homeowners took a second look at the center of their houses. From falling in love with a new water filtration service to redoing cabinets and building that kitchen island they’d always wanted, 2020 saw with it an increase in not only the sale of tools but kitchen appliances and fixtures.
With the millennial generation making big moves to return home to their parents and college kids opting for online classes, many were left needing bigger kitchen spaces to accommodate daily living. For this reason, lots of home improvement and shutdown projects included pulling out that old kitchen sink and replacing it with a bigger one. Granite counter tops, extra seating, and larger kitchen expansion projects were also at the top of homeowners’ minds and plans during the shutdown.
While some of it was that we had more time at home, and others made changes for logistical reasons, one silver lining to shutdowns was the ability to tackle long dreamed about projects and to finally get them finished.
Overall Home Maintenance Projects
Not all shutdown work was done by homeowners alone. Some called in local contractors and handymen for bigger projects where shutdown rules weren’t applicable. For those with roof leaks, for example, the shutdown offered homeowners the time to finally make that call to places like Northern Virginia Roofing for both repairs and maintenance.
Time at home meant deep spring cleanings, new window treatments, finally pulling the muck out of old gutters, new decks, and deck repairs alike. Creaky doors and chipped paint were fixed as homeowners looked for ways to pass the time. With many carpenters and other skilled trade professionals home too, homeowners were able to hire them for side jobs they might not otherwise have been available for. This led to an increase in general home maintenance projects including in the areas of home heating and cooling. The general thought was that if they were going to be stuck at home, they wanted their environments to be comfortable. For those who were able to, repairs became a priority. Air conditioners, ceiling fans, and even those furnaces got tweaks this year that will pay off into the future.
Tiny and Alternative Home Builds
Because of lost jobs and fear of evictions, many homeowners have turned to two new trends since the shutdowns began. Tiny homes and the van life movement have seen huge increases since the beginning of the pandemic. During shutdowns, both of these hashtags trended as alternative lifestyle minded homeowners looked for tips for home renovations on some pretty original vehicles.
Popular with Generation Z, and likely due to the cost of traditional housing, many young people set to work in their parents’ backyards building either tiny houses or converting vehicles into homes. From fully loaded Sprinter vans with kitchens, sinks, and even toilets to more simple, but portable, stick and brick tiny homes, parents and their young adult children worked together to problem-solve.
Because a lot of time was spent outdoors in private yards this year, landscaping and gardening also became great pastimes for homeowners stuck at home looking for something to do. From fire pits to patios, these projects were popular and worked great for young adults camping out in their parent’s backyards. For the little ones, playgrounds, sandboxes and things they could no longer play on at school became great family projects during the shutdown too.
There’s no doubt about it: shutdowns afforded most of us with more time at home. Those who aren’t considered essential workers were forced to take a closer look at their homes. It promoted projects that might not otherwise have been taken on but could become new trends. An example of this is the many homeowners who used their time at home to convert basements and outside structures into apartments for passive income. With changes in employment and creative thinking for how they would pay the bills, many homeowners looked into other ways to bring in revenue including signing up with Airbnb sites and more. These types of projects should pay off for them long after the Covid-19 virus is gone.