With little to do and lots of time, Americans were forced to reevaluate their living spaces when the pandemic came around. It resulted in a home improvement craze, especially for kitchens, home offices, and outdoor spaces, according to data from the 2021 Houzz & Home Study survey. The report found that the amount of money put into home renovations increased 15% last year reaching a median expense of $15,000. In the kitchen, where the majority of projects took place, homeowners invested a median $40,000 into renovations, a 14% increase. Much of the price increases can be blamed on the growing prices of building materials.
“Kitchen projects are consistently the most popular among renovating homeowners, and while median spend has been flat on these projects for the past three years, it has been interesting to see investment on major remodels of large kitchens jump so significantly in the past year,” says Marine Sargsyan, Houzz senior economist.
Part of the increase in expense, Sargsyan says, is due to an increase in the price of labor and materials. Pandemic travel restrictions and business shutdowns created supply chain issues around the world, causing shortages of many building materials and sending consumer costs skyrocketing. “But the pandemic also put a significant amount of stress on the home as people spent more time there and decided to invest in new ways to make their spaces work better for them,” she says.
Home offices were a space that more homeowners invested in over the course of the year, too. According to the report, the amount of home office projects increased by 4% in 2020, and people spent 10% more on them compared with the previous year. Closet upgrades also saw a big jump in the amount people spent, rising 43% to $1,000, raising the possibility that some of those closets have been turned into home offices.
“While data from our 2021 Houzz & Home Study cannot confirm a connection between the increased spend on home offices and closets with the ‘cloffice’ trend, it is a possibility as homeowners searched for more functional work space,” Sargsyan says.