How to plan and budget for DIY goals now

Did you find yourself cooped up during the pandemic-induced stay-at-home orders, blankly staring at the walls of your house, longing for more?

Maybe you wanted to travel or go out to dinner with friends. Or maybe you just wanted a fresh coat of paint on that wall.

If you found yourself in the latter camp, you had company: When the home improvement platform Houzz surveyed 1,000 homeowners who use the site in April, nearly 80% said they’re considering remodeling changes that would help them enjoy their houses more. And sales at Home Depot were up 7% in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, a possible sign that consumers were already spending more on home improvement materials.

Although now might seem like the perfect time for DIY home improvement, be sure to consider our new reality. Plan the project’s size, type and budget to fit current circumstances.

PLAN YOUR PROJECT

Whether it’s a wall in need of color or a drab backyard that could use some landscaping, start by knowing what you want to accomplish. Then, put together a plan.

When determining the project you’ll take on, think about what’s within your skill set

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Coronavirus-Led Stay-at-Home Aids DIY & Home Furnishing: 5 Picks

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live and work. Though it has dampened businesses across the globe, it has also given rise to new trends.

Data provider S3 Partners had anticipated a decline in spending on furniture and home improvement with household finances being hit hard by economic challenges posed by the pandemic. However, things have panned out in a different way. A huge number of Americans in lockdown have been spending lavishly on upgrading their living spaces, which has helped Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and homeware or home furnishing companies to flourish.

Living Space Upgrades Push Home Furnishing Stocks Higher

With lockdowns in place, people are spending more time at home. The work and study from home trend has increased demand for furniture. In fact, due to globalization, new designs and a variety of items are now available online. This has boosted growth of the home decor market further. With online retail open during the lockdown, furniture and other home decor items have been available at a discounted price, making it more affordable for customers.

Per a Technavio report, the online home decor market is poised to grow by $83.32 billion during 2020-2024, at a CAGR of almost 13%.

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Despite construction’s return, SF’s home improvement industry languishes

Citywide

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Photo: Photocapy/Flickr

As San Francisco hits the three-month mark of sheltering in place, residents have found plenty of new ways to pass the time — including working on projects around the house.

That’s mostly been good news for local hardware stores, which have seen an uptick in sales related to household projects. But for other small businesses in the home improvement industry, the shift has come at a cost.

Spring is normally the busiest season for Tom’s Painters, a team of Sunset District-based residential painters led by the sibling team of Tom and Maria da Silva. 

At the beginning of March, the company was working at full capacity. But when the mayor’s March 17 shelter-in-place order required non-essential businesses to shut down, work came to a halt. 

The company’s team of residential painters were used to stepping into people’s homes on a daily basis. But even with safety precautions in place, virus-wary clients began to reconsider. Ultimately, the da Silvas had to lay off all but three of their usual 10- to 12-person crew. 

“It was hard letting my employees go home, not knowing exactly how they would survive,” Maria da Silva said.

Like many small-business

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Shopping for refurbished kitchen appliances and home improvement tools is the smartest way to get more for your money

When you purchase a refurbished appliance from a trusted seller like eBay or Sears Outlet, you’re getting an item that has been used and then returned within the short return window. It’s then repaired and certified to ensure it’s functioning like new, and sold at a significant discount. (Photo: Getty Creative)
When you purchase a refurbished appliance from a trusted seller like eBay or Sears Outlet, you’re getting an item that has been used and then returned within the short return window. It’s then repaired and certified to ensure it’s functioning like new, and sold at a significant discount. (Photo: Getty Creative)

There are two ways to save money on big purchases like kitchen appliances and home improvement tools: you can wait and wait for the best sales, and then fight your way through the crowds to shop them; or you can buy certified refurbished merchandise for significant discounts. The best part? These refurbished products look, feel and function like they’re brand new.

In the same way that you can return clothes that doesn’t fit quite right when you get it home, you can return appliances and tools too. Those barely-used items go back to the store or manufacturer, but because they have been used or got a ding or two in the delivery and return process, can’t be sold as “new” anymore. What happens then? They get refurbished and resold.

“People could go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and look at a basic range for anything from $600 to $1000,

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