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The Age(s) of Renovation

Thanks to a healthy economy, last year homeownership rates increased to 64.8% (the highest since 2005), with the primary age range being 35 – 65.  One thing that homeowners of all ages seemed to agree on is that there is great value in an updated home.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, 2018 saw an increase in spending on home renovations, and this trend is expected to continue to grow over the next two years.

One of the most interesting aspects of this boom in home improvement spending is that it spans across three generations—Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials—though for very different reasons.

Each age group views their renovation spending as an investment not only in their home but also in their lifestyle.  What are the motivations for each generation’s renovations, and how does it reflect the natural progression of homeownership?  Let’s take a look…

Renovations are still Booming

Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) provided 52% of the renovation spending in 2018. According to a recent study from Houzz, more than half of these renovators (54% to be exact) chose to renovate because they wanted to stay put in their existing home, but they needed some upgrades to make that possible, including the kitchen, bathroom, and master bath. But one of their top challenges?

bathroom waterproof hardwood flooring

Finding the right products and materials. Hardwood floors are a top choice for many families, but not all hardwoods can stand up to the humidity and moisture common in kitchens and bathrooms. Luckily, a waterproof hardwood floor is coming from LIFECORE in 2020.

Renovation for Something X-tra

Generation X-ers (born between 1965 and 1980) were responsible for 31% of the renovation spending in 2018. With Gen-Xer’s kids now grown and leaving the family home, these new empty nesters view this as an amazing opportunity to reclaim their own lifestyles. Gen X-ers spent an average of $15K primarily on general updates, repairs, and repurposing vacant bedrooms to suit their hobbies and interests, but not without a visual refresh.

engineered hardwood flooring renovation reclaimed look

The same Houzz study found 90% of Gen X renovators sought to improve design followed by 82% looking to update functionality. Resale value was the third motivator at only 68%. LIFECORE engineered hardwood floors hit on all three of these renovation needs, with aesthetics that are as functional as they are beautiful. Even better? Hardwood floors can boost the sales value of a home, but more on that later.

Renovations to Mark the Millennial

The percentage of home renovations made in 2018 by Millennials (born between 1981-1996) was 14%, with the majority being newer homeowners. Millennials motivation to renovate was largely aimed at creating a living space that reflects their current taste and interests—with 90% focused on wanting to improve the design of their space—while being adaptable to a growing family. The average $10K spent by Millennials to update their homes went to projects like creating open floor plans between kitchen, living room and dining area, installing smart home systems, and general décor items.

engineered hardwood reclaimed look

And Millennial homeowners have the future in mind, even more so than Gen X, with 72% prioritizing increasing the resale value. New floors can have a huge impact. According to a recent article by Money magazine, the installation of engineered hardwood flooring alone can bump your home price up by 5%. This means that a home valued at $250K beforehand can increase its asking price by $12,500 after new engineered hardwood is installed.  Additionally, being able to boast eco-friendly floors will also improve market value as well as your home’s air quality.

The Common Denominators

Whatever your age or renovation motivation, most projects benefit from two relatively easy and cost-effective updates; fresh paint and new flooring. Not only will these upgrades transform the aesthetics of your home, they can also increase your home’s resale value.

According to Forbes magazine, the driving color forecasts for 2020 from major paint companies revolve around “de-stressing” and introducing more calm into our lives

As for flooring, according to the Houzz Kitchen & Bath Study, home remodels and updates benefit from hardwood thanks to the fact that it is long lasting, ecological, and all natural. In addition, the variety of colors and styles provides endless design possibilities for any room.

Kitchen updates are greatly enhanced by hickory hardwood, as it’s one of the harder domestic species. LIFECORE’s and Arden collection features neutral toned hickories with UV hardened finish for longer wear. The light texturing also goes a long way to camouflage kitchen “dirt” while presenting a modern, high-end look.

For the living / dining room area in an open floor plan, a great choice is engineered oak floors. Oak’s smooth grain provides a modern aesthetic that will beautifully connect the two rooms. LIFECORE’s Anton, Adela, Amara, Anew all feature beautiful, durable oak to stay fashionable for the long haul.

In the bedrooms, consider ripping up allergen-inducing carpeting and replacing it with a wide plank engineered maple hardwood.  LIFECORE’s stunning Allegra collection maximizes the subtle style Maple’s fine grain and unique character, while the wider planks will make the space look much bigger.

Looking for a unique, architectural touch to distinguish any room?  Try putting engineered hardwood on an accent wall. LIFECORE’s Abella Acacia, with its unique, swirling grain and natural luster is the perfect choice to create visual interest.

Lastly, all of LIFECORE’s engineered hardwoods offer our ZERO-ADD® technology, which ensures no added formaldehyde during the manufacturing process. Not only does our eco-friendly flooring promote better air quality, but it also increases the value of your home.

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