Home improvement has experienced a major boom over the past year. With more time at home and, for some, added flexibility in their budgets, many homeowners took the opportunity to spruce up their spaces with exterior upgrades, room makeovers, and home-system improvements. According to a recent study from the home design hub Houzz, spending on home-improvement projects has increased 15% over the past year, and some of the priciest upgrades were among the most popular.
The 2021 U.S. Houzz & Home Study includes findings from more than 75,000 respondents, about half of whom renovated their homes in 2020. The results shed light on the top home-improvement projects homeowners tackled over the past year, with details on the typical cost of each upgrade.
According to the survey, the kitchen was the most commonly updated room of the home, with 27% of respondents completing a kitchen remodel or addition in 2020. The median cost of those renovations was $12,000, but for kitchens larger than 200 square feet, the typical spend on major remodels (in which all of the cabinets and appliances were replaced) was a whopping $40,000.
Related: Countertops Were the Most Popular Kitchen Renovation Project in 2020, According to Houzz
Bathrooms were another popular space for renovations, but homeowners appeared to favor less costly updates to guest bathrooms over pricier primary bathroom renovations. The data show that a quarter of participating homeowners updated a guest bathroom last year with a median spend of $3,200. For main bathrooms, the typical cost was 2.5 times higher, which might help explain why only 21% of homeowners chose to update this space.
Homeowners also invested in making their homes more functional and secure. Roughly a quarter of the survey participants upgraded their plumbing and/or electrical systems in 2020, projects that usually cost about $1,000 each, according to the study. One in five homeowners installed home security systems over the past year, a share that’s double what it was five years ago. And with a median spend of $400, it’s one of the least expensive updates on the list.
As for exterior updates, paint was a top choice for homeowners looking to boost curb appeal. A fifth of survey respondents refreshed their home’s exterior with new paint for a typical cost of $1,200.
The table above details some of the most popular home-improvement projects and their median cost in 2020, according to the 2021 U.S. Houzz & Home Study.
If you’re considering a renovation in the coming months, keep these costs in mind as you prepare the budget for your project. The exact amount will depend on the scope of the project, where you live, and other factors, but you can consider this a starting point as you plan your next home makeover.