Matthew Gardner: Home Renovations Are Being Fueled by the Pandemic

After more than a year conducting their jobs from home, many local workers find themselves itching for a more optimized work-from-home space. It’s a common frustration — especially in households where multiple working adults and school-age children are trying to share the same at-home working spaces.

Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, recently addressed this trend with KIRO Radio hosts Aaron Mason and Colleen O’Brien. According to Gardner, working from home may be here to stay for some industries. As a result, the suburbs and exurbs are seeing a rise in popularity and demand, as employees working remotely seek space for their home office setup.

While some remote workers may have been content to get by conducting business from their dining room tables and living rooms, the need for a more permanent home office space is certainly pressing for many, especially now that some major employers have once again pushed back their in-person return to the office.

Gardner said it’s now more important than ever for families to have an optimized home office or at least a dedicated Zoom space. Because of this, home office space is a rising priority for many of our region’s residential buyers. However, with sky-high demand and low inventory in the local market, some buyers may find prices too prohibitive to purchase a house at this time.

With that in mind, many current homeowners are turning to home renovations and remodels to achieve what they need from their space. Creating a home office is a popular direction for remodels, and Gardner added that dens or other living areas that can double as a work space are also popular.

But for those looking to save money with a remodel instead of a home purchase, Gardner said the cost of lumber, copper, aluminum, steel and even PVC pipe is still high; the overall cost of remodels is still rising and may prevent some homeowners from renovating their space.

According to Gardner, some of the drive to remodel may simply come from spending too much time in the house. Staring at the same four walls every day may be driving homeowners and remote workers to critique their space more than they would ordinarily.

The solution? Don’t forget to get outside every now and then.

This article was originally posted on MyNorthwest.

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