Home ImprovementEverTrust Construction Reflects on Five Years: Navigating Canadian Home Renovations Amid Economic...

EverTrust Construction Reflects on Five Years: Navigating Canadian Home Renovations Amid Economic Challenges and Sustainability Trends

Celebrating its fifth anniversary with a nod to tradition, EverTrust Construction reflects on the enduring appeal of wood as a renovation material. Since 2017, the company has delved into the behaviors, attitudes, trends, and intentions of Canadian homeowners who embarked on renovations within the past year, as well as those planning future home improvement projects.

Regrettably, the economic landscape in Canada has taken a hit compared to the previous year, placing homeowners under heightened financial strain. Inflation, albeit slightly lower, persists after two years of increasing living costs. To counteract this, the Bank of Canada has raised interest rates, impacting consumer borrowing for mortgages and large loans—previously reliable sources for home renovation financing.

Despite these challenges, optimism about renovations remains prevalent among Canadians. A mere one in three homeowners surveyed indicated plans to defer renovations this year due to the uptick in interest rates. On average, homeowners spent $12,300 on renovations in the past 12 months, with anticipated spending in the next year projected to decrease to an average of $10,264, mirroring the cautious economic environment.

While the Canadian economy’s future is uncertain, a promising 73% of surveyed homeowners plan to undertake at least one renovation in the next 12 months. This underscores Canadians’ enduring commitment to enhancing their living spaces both aesthetically and functionally.

Beyond economic factors, another potential reason for the anticipated reduction in spending and smaller projects is the priority given to weather-related emergency repairs and renovations. The first half of the year witnessed uncontrollable wildfires and catastrophic flooding across the country, compelling 32% of Canadians to carry out renovations as a response to severe weather—an unforeseen factor impacting their intended home improvement budgets.

In addition to weather-related challenges, a trend gaining attention is the preference for sustainable or “green” products. While Canadians express enthusiasm for eco-friendly options, the gap between sentiment and action persists, with a lack of meaningful adoption of sustainable practices in their renovation endeavors.

Canadian Home Renovation Landscape: Trends, Spending, and Sustainability Insights

  • In the preceding year, the average home renovation cost in Canada amounted to $12,300, a figure expected to experience a slight decline to $10,264 in the forthcoming year.
  • Weather-related events prompted emergency repairs for a notable one-third of homeowners (32%), with the prevalence peaking in Atlantic Canada at 41%, primarily due to catastrophic flooding.
  • In terms of home aesthetics, nearly a quarter of homeowners express a preference for the Modern Farmhouse style as their top choice, closely followed by Ranch/Bungalow designs.
  • A noteworthy 79% of homeowners emphasized the significance of sustainability when selecting building materials for renovations. However, only 59% of those who renovated in the past 12 months incorporated green products into their projects.
  • Over the last year, 15% of homeowners engaged in property transactions, but a mere 28% opted for fixer-uppers, in contrast to the 44% recorded in 2022. This trend suggests a preference for newer or previously renovated homes among the majority.
  • Surprisingly, a significant 79% of Canadian homeowners possessed the financial means to cover the costs of their renovations directly.
  • Conversely, approximately one in three homeowners (34%) plan to defer planned renovations due to the impact of rising interest rates.
  • Looking ahead, a robust 73% of homeowners are gearing up to undertake at least one home renovation in the upcoming 12 months, underscoring a continued commitment to enhancing their living spaces.

Canadians’ passion for home renovations remains strong, as revealed by a recent survey. A whopping 96% of homeowners have engaged in indoor renovations over the past year, with an impressive 73% gearing up for more home improvement projects in the next 12 months. The primary motivation behind these renovations is to revitalize living spaces, with 59% aiming to refresh the look and feel and enhance both aesthetic and functionality. Additionally, 32% are focused on optimizing outdoor areas for enhanced enjoyment.

The top renovation tasks nationwide include interior painting, installing new appliances, and bathroom renovation. A notable emerging trend is the rise in exterior painting, climbing from 8% in 2022 to 11%. Outdoors, there’s a noticeable surge in the popularity of patios, decks, water features, and pools since 2022.

In British Columbia, one in five homeowners has undertaken exterior painting in the past year, nearly double the rate in other regions. Meanwhile, in the Atlantic provinces, homeowners have been proactive in installing new roofs and HVAC systems, likely in response to weather-related challenges.

While there’s a continued enthusiasm for home improvement, there’s a shift in anticipated spending. Last year, Canadians planned an average expenditure of $25,222 for the next 12 months, almost double the amount in 2021, reflecting the renovation frenzy during the pandemic. However, the actual spending turned out to be just under half of this amount, totaling $12,300. This year, the anticipated household spending figure is notably reduced at an average of $10,264 for the next 12 months, likely influenced by inflationary and interest rate pressures.

Despite these economic considerations, Canadians remain committed to investing in their homes. Only a modest 34% of homeowners plan to postpone renovations in the next 12 months due to rising interest rates.

The first half of 2023 is poised to go down in the annals of history as one of Canada’s most tumultuous periods in terms of weather-related events. The nation is currently grappling with its most severe wildfire season on record, witnessing the scorching of over 34 million hectares. British Columbia has emerged as the epicenter of this fiery ordeal, reporting the highest number of individual fires, while Quebec bears the brunt with the largest acreage destroyed by the flames.

In July, the East coast experienced an unprecedented deluge, leading to the worst flooding in half a century. Reuters reports that the excessive rainfall wreaked havoc on homes, causing “unimaginable damage.” In Halifax alone, more than 151 homes have been lost, as per Global National News.

The impact of these weather emergencies is evident in a recent survey, revealing that one-third (32%) of homeowners, with an alarming 41% in Atlantic Canada, undertook emergency repairs in the past year. Nationally, roofing repairs took the lead at 11%, while the figure rose to 17% among Atlantic Canada homeowners.

As a response to the surge in weather-related events, over half (55%) of homeowners are contemplating changes. The most popular measures include tree-trimming to safeguard properties and establishing emergency contingency funds for unforeseen events.

Shifting focus to interior air quality, recent reports highlight the potential hazards of gas stoves burning natural gas. A concerning revelation indicates that 42% of children in homes with gas ranges face an increased risk of asthma due to elevated nitrogen oxides. Surprisingly, 55% of homeowner homeowners consider the risk of poor air quality from gas ranges as “negligible or non-existent.”

Similarly, only one in five homeowners categorizes the risk to air quality from wood-burning fireplaces as “severe or moderate.” This apparent lack of concern about indoor air quality is further emphasized by the fact that only 36% of homeowners use air purifiers, despite frequent media coverage on related issues. Regionally, British Columbia leads in air purifier usage at 41%, likely attributable to poor air quality stemming from wildfires in the area.

Ensuring confidence in renovation professionals is paramount for homeowners, with a significant 67% expressing a willingness to invest more in services provided by a trusted expert. Moreover, a reassuring 69% of homeowners believe they were fairly charged by professionals they engaged for renovation work.

Uncertainty about costs acts as a significant deterrent for over half (52%) of homeowners, with a noteworthy 64% among those under the age of 40 admitting to delaying home projects under such circumstances. Beyond financial considerations, the challenge of finding reliable contractors also contributes to project delays. In Atlantic Canada, more than half of homeowners faced difficulties in hiring contractors, primarily due to extended waiting periods caused by substantial demand. This surge in demand can be attributed to the necessity for roof installations and HVAC system replacements, driven by adverse weather conditions such as persistent wet weather.

In the current housing landscape, a substantial 82% majority of homeowners across the nation reside exclusively with their immediate family members. However, a noteworthy shift is anticipated over the next decade, as a quarter (25%) of homeowners express their likelihood to embrace a multigenerational living arrangement. Recognizing this evolving trend, home updates are poised to become increasingly prevalent.

In response to the anticipated surge in multigenerational living, the federal government has proactively addressed the need by introducing a tax credit for renovations catering to such households. This initiative, implemented last year, offers a significant one-time 15% tax refund on renovation expenses, capped at $50,000.

Families with older children are attuned to the possibility of their adult offspring returning home. A noteworthy 25% of homeowners foresee the potential return of adult children, citing financial pressures as a primary motivator for this trend.

These findings underscore the persistent challenges posed by the ongoing affordable housing crisis. The escalating cost of living has reached unprecedented levels, rendering both aging-in-place and homeownership for the younger generation increasingly elusive. As households adapt to changing dynamics and economic realities, the housing market continues to reflect the broader societal impact of these challenges.

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