Renovating A Home in an Inflationary Economy

In an ever-fluctuating economic landscape, homeowners across the globe find themselves facing the challenges posed by inflation. Rising prices and increased costs have a ripple effect, impacting various aspects of daily life, including the fundamental dream of creating the perfect home, even simply renovating a home. 

According to a recent survey by Discover, inflationary pressures are significantly impacting homeowners’ desires to undertake home improvement projects. A staggering 59% of survey respondents have chosen to postpone their renovation projects, while 26% have decided to scale down their upgrades.

However, an impressive 79% of homeowners surveyed have expressed their preference for renovating their current homes rather than finding a new one. 

This article delves into the intricacies of renovating a home amid inflation. 

Prioritize Renovation Needs Over Wants

Needs encompass essential repairs or upgrades crucial for safety, functionality, and structural integrity. These might include fixing leaky roofs, electrical issues, or addressing plumbing problems. 

Wants, on the other hand, represent aesthetic or luxury improvements like elaborate landscaping or high-end kitchen appliances.

In an economic climate influenced by inflation, focusing on needs ensures that limited resources are allocated where they’re most necessary. By addressing urgent needs first, homeowners safeguard their home’s core elements, preventing potential long-term damages that could incur higher costs if neglected. 

This approach not only enhances the home’s overall livability but also maintains its market value. Judiciously balancing needs and wants, ensures that the investment is both financially sound and emotionally satisfying.

Energy-efficient appliances

Reuse And Repurpose Materials

Repurposing and reusing materials is a smart and sustainable approach for homeowners looking to renovate in the present economy. This practice not only reduces renovation costs but also minimizes waste and contributes to a more eco-friendly home improvement project. 

Writer Penny Craswell, in her upcoming book “Reclaimed: New Homes from Old Materials,” highlights the immense potential of secondhand and upcycled materials.

A growing number of designers, architects, and builders have recognized the value of construction waste. They recommend using actively recycling wood, plastic, and metal, and upcycling rubble to create entirely new materials for home design. 

Moreover, Dwell notes that there are global suppliers ready to assist those eager to embark on their secondhand build. They make it easier than ever to incorporate reclaimed materials into your renovation project.

Recycled building materials

Use Government Incentives and Tax Benefits

In an era marked by economic challenges, government incentives and tax benefits serve as valuable lifelines for homeowners aiming to renovate their homes. 

President Joe Biden’s initiative, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), has emerged as a significant opportunity for homeowners. This act offers incentives, including tax rebates and credits of up to $14,000, specifically designed to encourage energy-efficient renovations.

According to recent reports from Yahoo! Finance, the IRA’s energy efficiency incentives saw significant increases in 2023. With average home improvement costs amounting to $6,721, these incentives provide a considerable financial buffer.

Homeowners can leverage these benefits strategically. For instance, a $150 tax credit is available for a home energy audit, helping homeowners identify areas for energy efficiency improvements. 

Furthermore, substantial rebates, up to $8,000, are provided for purchasing energy-efficient appliances. Low- and moderate-income families can even cover the entire installation cost of electric appliances, ranging from heat pump water heaters to clothes dryers.

Families stand to benefit significantly from a 30% tax credit on energy-efficient insulation. This includes credits for adding insulation, installing efficient windows and doors, and purchasing electric heat pumps. 

The IRA also offers a 30% tax credit on rooftop solar panel installations between 2022 and 2032, potentially reducing costs from $4,620 to $15,960. State-level incentives may further offset these expenses.

Understanding and tapping into these incentives not only offers immediate financial relief for homeowners but also ensures a more energy-efficient and environmentally conscious home. 

Tax credits

Consider Resale Value 

Renovations have the potential to significantly influence a home’s market worth, and striking the right balance between personal preferences and universal appeal is key.

One aspect to keep in mind is curb appeal, which can greatly affect a home’s resale value. Incorporating features like a barge board can enhance the exterior aesthetics, adding charm to the home. 

Belco notes that barge boards, play a crucial part in enhancing a home’s curb appeal while also offering weather resistance. These architectural elements not only add character to a house but also provide practical advantages. This makes their addition a valuable investment for homeowners looking to improve the visual allure and durability of their homes.

Additionally, focusing on popular and practical upgrades such as modern kitchens, or upgraded bathrooms can significantly enhance a home’s market desirability. Neutral color palettes, ample storage, and well-lit spaces are universally appreciated and can make a home more appealing to a broader range of buyers. 

This strategic approach not only enhances the immediate living experience but also secures a promising future resale value for the home.

Upgraded bathroom

Negotiating and Cost Management

To secure the best possible prices, homeowners should research multiple contractors and suppliers, obtain detailed quotes, and compare services. Negotiation skills come into play here. Being well-informed allows homeowners to confidently discuss terms and drive costs down. 

Establishing clear communication and setting a budget ceiling with contractors help prevent overspending. 

Additionally, having a contingency fund is vital. Unforeseen issues are common in renovations and having financial flexibility ensures the project stays on track even if costs fluctuate. 

Regularly monitoring expenses and being proactive in addressing potential issues can ensure the renovation stays within budget despite economic challenges.


In the face of an inflationary economy, renovating a new home might seem challenging, but it’s not an impossible task. With careful planning, savvy financial strategies, and a dash of creativity, homeowners can transform their spaces without compromising their budgets or dreams. 

The evolving landscape of home improvement, influenced by economic fluctuations, calls for adaptability and resourcefulness. In this context, every decision counts. 

Homeowners can effectively renovate their homes by following the insight provided in the article.

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