Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: May 15, 2017 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

Home improvement projects are the plan for at least 59 percent of homeowners this year, according to a recently-released LightStream survey.

And homeowners are expecting to spend more on improvements this year, with 42 percent planning to spend at least $5,000, and 23 percent planning to spend $10,000 or more, the highest percentages since the survey’s inception three years ago.

Outdoor renovations are the most popular, as 41 percent plan to tackle a project like a deck, patio or landscape renovation. Thirty-two percent are planning to do home repairs or update technology, while 28 percent are updating their bathrooms, and 24 percent are renovating their kitchens. Pools, garages and barns all made the list as popular specific projects.

Across generations, Generation X is the most likely to do home improvement projects this year (72 percent), followed by millennials at 69 percent, up 25 percent since 2014, and baby boomers at 57 percent, down from 68 percent in 2015.

But how are homeowners paying for these improvements? Sixty percent plan to dip into their savings, while 29 percent plan to use credit cards, an increase of 16 percent from last year.

“This year’s survey shows that many homeowners plan to pay for renovations with credit cards,” said Todd Nelson, LightStream business development officer. “Though credit cards typically advertise rewards, they may in fact have high interest rates or convert to higher rates after an introductory period of time. For large-ticket home improvement purchases, credit cards may not be practical. It’s important that consumers explore alternatives, such as a home improvement loan or home equity line of credit. These options often offer lower interest rates, and allow homeowners to better manage their overall costs and payments.”

Regionally, 56 percent of homeowners in both the North and Midwest plan to do a home improvement project this year, 64 percent in the West and 61 percent in the South.