Home Improvement Trends to Watch in 2023
Thinking of fixing up your home in the new year? Try these trending projects.
Fewer Americans are buying homes these days, as home prices are high and mortgage rates are more than double what they were last year. Instead, they’ve decided to stay put, repairing, renovating, and improving the homes they already own to better suit their lifestyle and needs.
According to data from home services platform Blauchtrac, nine out of ten current homeowners intend to improve their property in some way over the next year. Another 65% intend to renovate their current home into their “dream home.”
According to home experts, “home renovations appear to be top of mind right now.”
They are correct: But what exactly are these homeowners planning to renovate? Here are the home improvement projects that experts predict will be popular in 2023.
- Updates on energy
Energy-efficient home improvements are expected to skyrocket in 2023. There are two reasons for this: For starters, these home improvements lower energy and utility bills, providing much-needed relief during times of high inflation.
Then there’s the Inflation Reduction Act to consider. The August legislation provides a slew of tax credits and other incentives for Americans who go green, so many will be looking to take advantage of these money-saving opportunities before they expire.
Experts say there are numerous options for those looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home. Some homeowners will choose to improve their insulation, windows, or smart thermostats, while others will install electric vehicle chargers or solar panels. Thumbtack alone has seen a 33% increase in solar panel installations booked through its platform in the last year.
“Our typical electric bill was $350 per month before we installed solar panels, and it’s now down to $18 per month,” says John Reede, an architect in New York. “In addition, federal and state incentives, as well as new tax incentives, are now available to reduce the upfront cost of solar power and other similar projects.”
Homeowners will also reduce their water consumption in the new year. This can be accomplished by installing low-flow toilets and showerheads, as well as by making careful landscaping changes, such as replacing traditional grass lawns with xeriscaping or native plants.
“Grass lawns require a significant amount of upkeep and maintenance in the form of watering, mowing, fertilising, aerating and weed control, which all adds up very quickly,” says Morgan Lonn, a landscaping expert. “The same is true for water-guzzling plants that require a lot of water to keep them looking good.”
He has seen a 66% increase in lawn replacement requests in the last year. “We expect this number to be even higher in 2023,” he says.
If you’re concerned about the cost of these upgrades, check with your city. They might be able to help offset them, at least partially.
“Many governments and municipalities in drought-prone areas provide incentives for drought-tolerant landscaping,” Lonn says. “From lawn removal rebates to water-saving equipment rebates, it’s always worth checking out your local municipalities and adjacent organisations and agencies that might bring down your costs.”
- Bathroom and kitchen renovations
Bathroom and kitchen renovations have long been popular. Not only do they provide high returns on investment (according to Remodel Plus, minor kitchen remodels have the third-best renovation ROI of all projects), but they are also impactful updates that improve the look and function of a home.
“Renovating a home’s kitchen is always a fan favourite, because it’s a space that we occupy often – whether we’re busy preparing food during the holidays or gathering with family for Sunday brunch,” says Lisa Giennes, owner of Giennes Design.
Kitchen renovations have also been particularly popular in the post-pandemic period, as an increasing number of Americans work from home.
“The pandemic has fundamentally shifted lifestyles. When working from home, people are spending more time in their kitchens and using their bathrooms more often. We’re seeing an increase in the number of people converting their bathrooms into relaxing spa-like spaces where they can unwind after a long day, and their kitchens into increasingly social spaces where they can host – and maybe take the occasional Zoom.”
- Cosmetic improvements and repairs
Inflation is high, and many consumers are cash-strapped; therefore, large-scale projects? These are simply not feasible for every homeowner.
Experts predict that a key home improvement trend in 2023 will be making repairs – often ones that were put off or delayed due to contract backups or supply chain delays.
“We’ve actually seen a significant increase in demand for unfinished repair and maintenance projects,” Giennes says. “These projects include minor repairs such as switch and outlet replacements, emergency plumbing, and duct and vent replacements.”
Homeowners will also spend money on minor facelifts – making small but significant changes that improve the home’s aesthetic and feel.
“In 2023, new kitchen finishes and appliances, as well as painting and lighting improvements throughout homes,” Lonn says. “While painting is becoming more expensive, it remains an excellent value in terms of both benefits and cost.”
- Dealing with natural disasters and climate change
The number of disaster events has increased dramatically in recent years, from hurricanes and wildfires to earthquakes and floods, putting an increasing number of homeowners – and their properties – at risk.
“Unfortunately, climate change and global warming are currently driving more maintenance and repair projects,” Giennes says. “From extreme weather to natural disasters, 42% of homeowners have completed a home improvement project as a result of climate challenges.”
In 2023, experts predict consumers will continue making home improvements to protect their homes from these events and make them more resilient in the long term. This might include raising properties located in flood zones, adding hurricane windows in coastal communities or updating landscaping with fire-resistant options.
“Wildfires have been intensifying at alarming rates from California to Colorado, and with the high risk in wildland-urban interfaces in particular, many homeowners are looking for landscape design that keeps fire safety in mind,” Lonn says. “While no landscaping is completely fire-safe, there are design practises that help reduce and slow wildfire spread through lots and neighbourhoods.”
- Increasing outdoor space
Finally, experts predict that homeowners will seek to maximise their outdoor spaces in order to create more useful, functional spaces.
“After a few years at home, many homeowners are looking for outside experiences,” Giennes says. “We’re not only seeing more money spent on travel but also a continued interest in renovating exterior spaces of the home. This could include the construction of a deck, patio, or porch for entertainment and relaxation.”
Popular features include fire pits, outdoor kitchens, hot tubs, and entertaining areas. Small, habitable sheds are also significant, especially when they serve a specific purpose.
“We saw an increase in requests for what we call modern sheds during the pandemic – sheds that are purpose-built for functionality like a creative studio, work-from-home office, kids’ play area, or wellness space,” Lonn says. “We anticipate that this trend will continue into 2023 as people modify their existing homes to find new ways to love them and squeeze more utility out of underutilised space.”