Few things can be agreed upon by 99 percent of the population, but the idea of home renovation being stressful is one of them. In addition to schedules, construction dust, budget worries, and the like, keeping the less-spatially-aware members of your family safe while walls are coming down can be a nightmare – unless you plan ahead. We divulged five secrets for keeping your kids safe during a renovation earlier this week, and we’re loving the ideas that Larry Abbott, of Abbott Contracting and the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association, presented in his piece about keeping pets happy and safe during renovations. Microchipping and keeping furry friends from dust are sound pieces of advice, and we especially enjoyed the part about considering home improvements that make pets feel more at home, because your house is home to every family member, right?
In other sunny renovation news, media outlets have been abuzz about the increase in spending on home improvement projects, which is music to our ears. According to July 16’s Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) report, released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, annual spending growth for home improvements will accelerate to 4 percent by the first quarter of 2016. The Columbus Dispatch notes that this is due in large part to an increase in home sales, and that higher home prices foster home improvement spending because homeowners can use the equity in their homes to finance projects.
But before we actually started jumping for joy, we read MarketWatch Personal Finance Reporter Quentin Fottrell’s analysis of Harvard’s and others’ numbers. While the increase in spending on home improvements is great, Fottrell writes, “the rate of growth has gradually slowed from a recent peak of 10 percent growth in the third quarter of last year versus the same period in 2013.” But, the number of homeowners planning to take on projects this year is up 2 percent from last year, so we’re still going to start jumping for joy. And if you’re one of those hip homeowners set on improving your living space this year, remember that we have plenty of tools to help you make informed decisions.
We’ll wrap up this week’s What We’re Watching Wednesday link roundup with some news about beautiful interiors – because, really, who doesn’t love a good-looking space, especially when it’s created for a good cause. The American Society of Interior Designers recently named its 2015 National Honors recipients, and you can learn all about the people and their inspiring projects (and see some pretty pictures) at Interiordesign.net.
Come across something interesting that you’d like us to know about? We’re all ears. Share your favorite interior design, real estate, home renovation, architecture, and art news with us in the comments, or send us a tweet.