Brian Mingham Explains Why COVID-19 Has Inspired Many Homeowners to Renovate

Brian Mingham
3 min readNov 17, 2020

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How the Coronavirus Pandemic Has Spurred a Boom in Household Improvements and Additions

One of the more unanticipated developments to come out of the global COVID-19 outbreak is a rapid increase in the number of American households undertaking home renovations. According to CNBC, spending on kitchen and bath remodeling projects jumped 40% in June of 2020 as compared with the same point in 2019, while home extensions and additions jumped 56% over the same time period. Orders for outdoor improvements, such as fencing, swimming pools, hot tubs, and saunas have also skyrocketed. But why is this? How has the seemingly unrelated catalyst of a worldwide viral pandemic led to such a notable rise in the demand for large-scale renovations? What are the underlying reasons for this sudden uptick in household improvements and additions? Brian Mingham, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of CFSI Loan Management (CFSI) provides a brief synopsis on why the coronavirus contagion of 2020 has spurred a countrywide boom in renovations.

An Over-Abundance of Spare Time

“Mid-way through spring of 2020, a great multitude of people found themselves with far more spare time on their hands than they were used to” states Mingham. “As the pandemic truly took hold of the nation, innumerable employers entreated their employees to work from home wherever possible, leading to legions of workers mostly confined to their dwellings. This, coupled with the fact that one of the few industries deemed ‘essential’ in early days of the shelter-in-place lockdowns happened to be hardware and building supply stores, meant that household renovations inevitably experienced a surge in consumer interest.” Put simply, for many Americans, there were not many other constructive activities in which to channel their pent-up energies.

New Estimates About the Duration of the Pandemic

With projections for the probable length of time it will take for the novel coronavirus to effectively dissipate stretching, by some expert accounts, into 2021–2022, many homeowners are adding improvements to their households for the practical purposes of warding off boredom and cabin fever. Home gyms, basement recreation rooms, multimedia suites, as well as swimming pools and saunas are only some examples of the big ticket household accoutrements experiencing an increase in sales, as many consumers plan ahead for potentially long stretches of time spent at home.

The Return and Re-Integration of Family Members

According to Brian Mingham, “Another reason for the current surge in household renovations is the return and re-integration of family members.” As the infection rates of COVID-19 have steadily increased in retirement and nursing homes all over the country, many members of the so-called ‘sandwich generation’ have found themselves welcoming at-risk, elderly loved ones into their homes to limit exposure. At the same time, young adults who had previously fled their parents’ nest in favor of urban life are returning in droves, too. It is little wonder that this state of affairs has produced an increased demand for major household additions and room expansions — specifically in the suburbs — to accommodate the influx.

A Trend Away From City Living

Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, the COVID-19 pandemic has led many homeowners to conclude that living in cities, and even large suburbs, carries with it a previously unappreciated downside: that is, the increased risk of contracting the coronavirus — or, for that matter, any airborne pathogen that may spread rapidly through dense population centers in the future. This realization has prompted a mass re-thinking of home location strategy among large swathes of the population, as newfound ambitions of small-town or country life motivate many Americans to renovate their current residences in order to boost re-sale values and lure in potential buyers.

Propelled by an over-abundance of spare time, new estimates regarding the duration of the pandemic, the return of family who previously lived elsewhere, and unprecedented uncertainty in housing markets, homeowners across the United States have taken to renovating their households in record numbers. At least for the foreseeable future, this trend is not likely to abate.

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Brian Mingham
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Brian Mingham is Founder & CEO of CFSI Loan Management (CFSI) | Los Angeles, CA | www.brianmingham.com