Due to all kinds of restrictions over the past two corona-infested years, people were forced to spend more time at home, had more time on their hands, and were left with budget that would otherwise be spent on going out or holidays. As a result, the amount of home improvement jobs done and budget spent on them by consumers increased significantly over the last two years.

The main question is whether that increase in home improvement will last now that most of the restrictions have been scrapped, or whether people’s urge to do home improvement jobs has been scrapped as well. To provide answers, we asked 6.800 consumers from 11 countries, who we interviewed for the Q4 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Home Improvement Monitor, about their plans for future home improvement.

Slightly fewer home improvement jobs expected…

The majority of European consumers we interviewed expect to do about the same amount of home improvement jobs in 2022 as they did in 2021. The share of consumers expecting to do more home improvement jobs is the coming year is slightly smaller than the share expecting to do fewer jobs, resulting in a nett expectation to do slightly less home improvement in 2022.

…but a higher budget will be spent on home improvement

Interestingly, although European consumers expect to do slightly fewer home improvement jobs on average, they expect to spend a higher budget on home improvement in 2022 than they did in 2021.  

This might seem a bit of a paradox, but there are several possible explanations. First of all, home improvement jobs can be quite impromptu, meaning that they are not always planned because the need for them may present itself later in the year. In that scenario, consumers will end up doing more home improvement jobs in 2022 than they expect at the start of the year. 

It might also be the case that consumers are actually more realistic in their expectations than the above explanation suggests. Surely, everyone has noticed the increasing price of materials. On top of that, labour costs are high and still rising. Combine the two and it is quite reasonable to expect to pay more money for fewer home improvement jobs in the coming year.

A third explanation is that people may plan fewer home improvement jobs, but that the jobs are larger or that the products used are more luxurious. If someone has turned a dusty attic into a stylish home office and the living room has been restyled with a fresh layer of paint in the past two years, for instance, then maybe this year it is time for a whole new kitchen. And maybe that person plans to deck that kitchen out with more luxurious equipment, because two years of pandemic have proven the value of investing in a quality home environment.

These ponderings are based on the results of the European Home Improvement Monitor research and on nearly three decades of experience researching the market for home improvement products. To find out more about what home improvement consumers plan to do and whether they plan to do those jobs themselves or rather hire a professional, we refer you to the Q4 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Home Improvement Monitor.

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