Cost of home improvements on the rise | Local News

It’s the time of year when many people take on home improvement projects, like a new roof, painting the porch or adding a deck.

This surging demand for home improvement jumped in the last two years, igniting price increases. Then, along came inflation.

So before picking up your power tools or buying gallons of paint, check out the price of the supplies you will need to do those projects.

According to a recent report from Angi, formerly known as Angie’s List, you’re not the only one thinking about spending money on home improvements. Average spending on home upgrades is now the highest since Angi began tracking this data seven years ago.

With an increased focus on the home because of the pandemic, home prices are rising to the highest on record, and the price of materials is much higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Consequently, the large amounts of money consumers are spending on home improvements shouldn’t be surprising, Ashtabula County Auditor David Thomas said.

“Home contractors are very busy with additions and other home improvements,” Thomas said. “For example, the cost of a new deck has doubled in the past two years.”

That may be because the price of lumber is climbing.

Why? Supply chain and trucking issues combined with an increased interest in home improvement is probably to blame.

“Lumber prices have gone up since the pandemic but people are still buying,” said Dawn Feralo, a sales associate at Busy Beaver in Ashtabula.

“Everyone is anxious for spring and income tax time is generally a busy time.”

Relief may be on its way — Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (HJCH) projects that prices in home improvements will see a big hike in the first two quarters of 2022 and then decelerate.

In addition to home improvements, home furnishing prices have risen nearly 20 percent, according to the latest Consumer Price Index released by the US Department of Labor.

Here’s a sample of home furnishings price increases:

• Floor coverings: up 7 percent

• Window coverings: up 16 percent

• Furniture/bedding: up 17 percent

• Bedroom furniture: up 14 percent

• Clocks/lamps/accessories: up 6 percent

With the rising costs of everything from groceries to home renovation supplies and furniture, it’s more important than ever to find ways to save where you can.

Here are four tips from local home improvement specialists:

• Get multiple bids for projects.

• Chose a coat of fresh paint instead of a complete renovation.

• Watch for sales.

• Save for the unexpected.