As the tough housing market forces more homeowners to stay put rather than move, their remodeling plans are getting more personal than ever.
A recent poll by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)  highlights this home improvement trend, with 26 percent of respondents planning to stay an additional 16 to 20 years in their homes because of decreased home value during the recession. Another 23 percent said they planned to live another six to 10 years in their present abodes.
Without the usual pressure to keep improvements practical, neutral and relatively impersonal for a home sale in the near future, homeowners are instead settling in for the long haul and investing in upgrades that reflect their individual tastes. It isn’t just about embracing a flashy purple paint shade or going with rococo woodwork for the living room. These homeowners are creating caterer kitchens, yoga studios, wine cellars and built-in teppanyaki grills—all with the hope of better enjoyment of their present home.
The trick with this home improvement approach is to ensure that customizations actually make sense for the homeowner’s lifestyle, and will be used frequently in the decade or two before they sell their home. Splurges that simply take up needed space or reflect a short-lived interest or trend aren’t just wasteful, they’re also expensive to undo. So even if you don’t have to worry about pleasing potential buyers for quite a while, you’ve still got yourself and your family to keep happy with whatever improvements you make.