More than a third of us plan to shell out more to make our homes more usable and beautiful this year, according to a survey from Principia, a building products industry consulting firm.

Compared to what they spent in 2011 for home improvements, 38% of home owners expect to spend somewhat more or a lot more in 2012, 30% expect to spend the same as they did in 2011, and 32% expect to spend less or not at all.

The focus of home improvement spending will shift this year, the survey found:

  • 75% more home owners plan to do something with their decks.
  • 11% more will be painting their home’s exterior.
  • 8% more home owners expect to improve their flooring or carpeting.

The survey also found home owners are occupying their homes longer as the population is less mobile than when home relocations were driven by job changes and pursuit of lifestyle change opportunities. This trend has reduced demand for labor and materials related to “move-in upgrades” related to purchases of existing homes.

Here’s what home owners said they’d be doing this year:

  • 24% will paint inside their homes.
  • 14% will upgrade flooring.
  • 10% plan to remodel a bathroom, with a similar proportion painting the outside of their home, or replacing doors.
  • 7% plan to replace the kitchen, or re-do the deck or the roof.

Source: Principia