Home Improvement – Not All Home Improvements Are Created Equal

Home improvement is a popular pastime that can add value to your home. It can also improve your quality of life and increase the enjoyment of your home. However, it is important to remember that not all home improvement projects are created equal. Some can actually decrease the value of your home. This is especially true if you make changes that are too personalized or go beyond the style of your neighborhood.

According to the 2021 American Housing Survey, 3 in 5 homeowners had done a home improvement project during the previous two years. Homeowners spent $6,438 on average on these projects. The majority of these projects were small and affordable. The most costly improvements were kitchen renovations and security system installations. The most common motivation for home improvement is to make the house more comfortable for the family. Other reasons include making the home safer and more attractive for guests.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, remodeling surged as people locked down their homes and wanted to spend more time at home. But this spike wasn’t because of the pandemic: Most of the projects done during the pandemic were already planned before the outbreak. The main reason for the surge in remodeling was a steep rise in the cost of labor and materials, which drove up the price of projects that were once affordable.

Most homeowners had the money to pay for these projects, but a substantial percentage had to sacrifice something else or borrow to get them done. In fact, 20% of those who completed projects during the past two years said that they had to make sacrifices or tap into savings, 14% had to sell items, and 8% had to take on debt to finance their home improvement project. Even so, most of those who had done home improvement projects reported increased satisfaction with their homes as a result of the work.

The most expensive home improvement project was a kitchen remodel, with an average cost of $33,190. The most affordable was a security system installation, with a cost of $754. In 2024, home improvement projects are expected to continue at a steady pace, though the amount spent is likely to decline due to market issues like stalled mortgage refinancing and rising labor and material costs.