The Top Home Upgrades Homeowners Tackled in 2019

Kitchens and bathrooms were the most popular interior spaces to remodel among homeowners on Houzz who renovated last year, according to the 2020 U.S. Houzz & Home study, continuing a nine-year trend. And 10% of renovating homeowners upgraded home offices last year ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, a move they might now be quite happy they made.

Read on to learn more about the interior and exterior spaces and home systems that renovating homeowners addressed in their projects last year — as well as the factors that drove them to make the changes.
Kim Layne Design Associates
The Houzz & Home study is the largest publicly available survey of residential remodeling, building and decorating activity in the U.S. The 2020 survey — fielded between Jan. 2 and March 5, prior to the shelter-in-place orders related to the pandemic — collected information from more than 87,000 U.S. respondents.
Erin Carlyle
Kitchens and Bathrooms Remained the Most Popular Rooms to Tackle in 2019

Consistent with past years, kitchens continued to be the most commonly renovated interior spaces in 2019, followed by bathrooms. The national median amount spent on kitchen projects was $12,000 last year, while the national median amount spent on master bathrooms was $8,000.

The median reported here should not be interpreted as the likely cost of a particular project. The cost to remodel varies widely by location and project scope and can be much higher in some metropolitan areas and for major remodels.

Median refers to the midpoint spending level, meaning half of homeowners spent more and half spent less. Also, these numbers include both DIY projects and those for which homeowners hired a pro.

Median figures can be used to measure year-over-year movement in the costs of remodeling. In 2018, the national median amount spent on kitchens was $14,000; on master bathrooms it was $8,000.
Tommy Daspit Photographer
1 in 10 Homeowners Renovated or Added a Home Office Last Year

The 2020 U.S. Houzz & Home study reveals that many people tackled home office spaces last year, well before
 the shelter-in-place orders in the U.S. In fact, 1 in 10 renovating homeowners on Houzz remodeled or added a home office in 2019.

The national median amount spent on home office projects was $1,000.
Plumbing and Electrical Were Top System Upgrades in 2019

Of course, a home renovation isn’t only about the visible finishes and materials. The hidden systems that make a house functional and efficient are also key. The most common home system upgrades made by renovating homeowners last year were to plumbing (29%), electrical (26%) and home automation (23%) systems that control thermostats, electronics or lighting. The national median amount spent on plumbing and electrical was $1,000 each; on home automation systems it was $350.

Seventeen percent of renovating homeowners added or upgraded home security systems, compared with 18% in 2018. The national median amount spent on home security systems was $400.

One in 9 renovating homeowners upgraded home entertainment systems, with the national median amount spent $800.
Adolfo Garcia
Erin Carlyle
Roofing, Paint and Windows Were Popular Exterior Upgrades in 2019

When it comes to exteriors, the most common upgrades that renovating homeowners made in 2019 involved roofing, paint, and windows or skylights (21% each). The national median amount spent on roofing was $8,000; on exterior paint it was $1,000, and on windows or skylights it was $3,900.
Z Builders
Improving Beds, Borders and Lighting Was Popular Last Year

For outdoor upgrades, beds and borders were the focus, with 28% of renovating homeowners addressing these spaces. Outdoor lighting was also a popular improvement, with 20% of renovating homeowners taking on this feature.

Eighteen percent of renovating homeowners updated lawns, and 14% improved or added a deck or an irrigation system.
Erin Carlyle
Finally Having the Time or Means to Do a Renovation Drove Projects in 2019

The No. 1 reason for tackling a home renovation project has remained stable for the past five years: Homeowners wanted to do it all along. In 2019, 57% of renovating homeowners cited the top reason for starting their project as wanting to do it all along and finally having the time, means or both. The No. 2 reason (24%) was wanting to customize a recently purchased home. And the third-most common reason (17%) was addressing damage in the home due to age, insects or other factors.

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