Rising inflation means that more homeowners are delaying home improvement and maintenance projects, but experts warn that it may not always be wise to do so.
A new survey by Hippo Insurance shows that 43% of homeowners have delayed planned home improvement and maintenance projects this year as a result of high inflation, which means they have less spending power than before.
The poll used to generate the study was conducted April 29 to May 1 among 1,915 U.S. adults, by Ipsos on behalf of Hippo.
At that time, inflation was already up by 8.6% from the year prior, the fastest increase since 1981. Because of inflation, households are seeing the price of everything from groceries and gas to rent and clothes increase by a considerable margin.
That has forced more homeowners to delay making repairs to their homes, but Hippo warned that doing so may not always be smart. Putting off some projects can be risky, because if it’s something important then not fixing it will result in even greater damage, and more expense, later on down the road.
Last year, homeowners spent an average of $4,000 on home repair projects, but they’re looking to spend less than that this year, the survey found.
Hippo reckons that hamstrung households that don’t have the budget to fix every single issue that needs addressing should take steps to avoid costly fixes. For example, it recommends that homeowners know exactly where the main shut off for water is. Should they discover a leak around the refrigerator or washing machine, they can turn off that valve to prevent worse water damage occurring.
“Prioritize issues that are known to be costlier to repair such as water leaks and any structural issues around the house,” said Courtney Klosterman, consumer trends expert at Hippo. “Not all home repairs are created equal, so it’s important to look for signs that a project needs to be addressed quickly.”
For example, an electrician will tell you that malfunctioning critical systems, such as a broken-down water heater or an electrical shorts should be prioritized, Klosterman said. Call on a licensed electrician if you need someone to work on your electrical system.